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?
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).
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What you have described constitutes violation of a variety of criminal laws and would subject the perpetrator to civil liability, as well.
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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. www.bismarktax.com Office 855-829-6055 DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. THIS IS GENERAL INFORMATION AND LAWS VARY FROM STATE TO STATE. PLEASE CHECK WITH A LOCAL ATTORNEY OR CONTACT THE IRS OR STATE TAXING AUTHORITY WITH ANY QUESTIONS.
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