Is merely claiming to have a non-profit organization on a social network page while not officially having it considered illegal?

Asked 8 months ago - San Diego, CA

Someone I know who has been engaging in fraud of a different type opened a fake non-profit site in one of the social networks, but after I did an extensive search for it in many nationwide databases, there was no record of such non-profit. I later confirmed that it does not exist, but only on a social network. Is there anything illegal about this action? I mean sin't this sort of like duping people by collecting money when there is no record of that non-profit. What other reasons could one pretend to have a non-profit that's not official? After all, they won't pay any taxes on the donations, so why not officially have one? I am not familiar with business law, so trying to understand to what extent claiming to have a non-profit that's not registered, but merely on a social network is wrong?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Dana Howard Shultz

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . What you have described constitutes violation of a variety of criminal laws and would subject the perpetrator to civil liability, as well.

    This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  2. Isai Bismark Cortez

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As the previous attorney stated this does seem like fraud. However, you should also add what type of specific wording they are using because this person could be slick enough to use the right type of wording to keep himself out of trouble. You could report him to the IRS or local authorities. I hope this helps. Good luck.

    Isai Bismark Cortez, Esq. Office 855-829-6055 DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS NOT... more
  3. Christian K. Lassen II


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Report to authorities

  4. Richard Gordon Stack

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The situation that you have described regarding this non-existent non-profit organization definitely has the smell of fraud and obtaining money by false pretenses, to the extent that people are fooled and make contributions in reliance on those lies. In addition to contacting the IRS, you may wish to contact the FBI, as interstate commerce is undoubtedly affected by internet solicitations of contributions (i.e., wire fraud).

    The answer to this question does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Moreover, this attorney is... more

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