State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on Tuesday his office had
lawsuit against a Leavenworth man and his family for allegedly
most of $1.5 million in donations that thousands of Washingtonians
were going to disadvantaged children."
claims Roy Bronsin Haueter’s
family instead used most of the donations to pay themselves and go on
General’s investigators have
not found any evidence that the charities provided any direct benefit
children since at least 2012 but instead have provided only a small
gift cards to a few nonprofit entities.
filed in King County Superior Court, alleges that Roy Bronsin Haueter,
wife, and his children and their spouses operated four charities and a
commercial fundraiser that continually violated the state Charitable
Solicitations Act and Consumer Protection Act.
action asks the court to halt all
deceptive activities by the organizations and seeks civil penalties of
$2,000 per violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
asks the court to require the
Haueter family to give the charities’ ill-gotten donations to
charities who provide services to the children that the Haueters’
claimed to help.
family used their so-called
charities to take advantage of thousands of Washingtonians wanting to
difference in a child’s life,” said Ferguson. “They abused their
for their personal gain. That’s wrong, and we will hold them
Items from Ferguson's statement
Haueters registered each charity
with the Washington state Secretary of State’s Office as required by
family self-reported the financial documents, which sometimes claimed
organizations spent up to 99 percent of donations on programs to
children. The Attorney General’s investigation, which included review
and other financial records, revealed that most of the donations
to the Haueter family.
2012, Haueter has performed all
the day-to-day operations of the charities, including controlling the
accounts, receiving and processing donations and drafting and editing
solicitations. His family members served formal roles, such as
Haueter family represents the Children’s
Safety Bureau, Search and Rescue Charities, Emergency Relief Services
Children’s Hunger Relief Aid as charitable organizations that
consumers throughout Washington state. The four charities operated
several names. For example: the organization Emergency Relief
solicited as “Back to School Helping Hands,” and Children’s
Aid was formerly the Children’s Hospital Emergency Fund.
"deceived consumers as to how they would use donations, in violation of
the Charitable Solicitations Act and the Consumer Protection Act."
Children’s Hospital Emergency
Fund also allegedly implied that it was affiliated with several
including Seattle Children’s Hospital and Sacred Heart Children’s
such relationship existed. Investigators in the Attorney General’s
no evidence that the charity provided any money or support to any
hospital in Washington.
Haueters’ for-profit business,
Haueter Enterprises, operated as a commercial fundraiser for the four
charities, though it never registered itself as such with the
Secretary of State’s Office. The Charitable Solicitations Act requires
commercial fundraisers to register with the state.
about how citizens can protect themselves from charity scams can be