Carmel, California – The Attorney General of California, Xacier Becerra, has filed a lawsuit against two California horse charities in Alameda County Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks financial restitution and the permanent barring of all 4 family members from operating nonprofits in California.
The lawsuit contends that the charities, Central Coast Equine Rescue and Retirement and Wounded Warrior Support Group, both operated by the same family, Matthew G. Gregory, his wife and their two adult children, illegally used donated funds and funds raised through raffles. The nonprofits monies were spent them on personal items, including shopping trips to Victoria Secrets, Nordstrom, Macy’s, dressage equipment, travel, paying personal credit cards, and eating out.
“I never intended to break any law, and never used a CPA, or any attorney,” Gregory told reporters. “This has just been a family winging it, the way it should be.”
Wounded Warrior Support Group, whose officers consisted of only members of the Gregory family, would use the raffle number of Central Coast Equine Rescue and Retirement, whose officers were also limited to the Gregory family, in exchange for a percentage of the raffle funds raised. California law states that each nonprofit must file for its own raffle permit. The WWSG never applied for a permit, and conducted raffles before filing as a nonprofit with the IRS. The WWSG claimed the raffles were going to support wounded warriors with horse therapy, but no such program ever existed. The WWSG received their federal nonprofit status in 2014, and the latest 990, 2015, shows total revenue of over $700,000.
The Central Coast Equine Rescue and Retirement (CCERR) was founded in 2012. The latest, 2015, shows revenue of just over $100,000. In a supplemental schedule, the CCERR explained to the IRS “The non profit spent $74,458 in 2015 on boarding, feed and care of its horses. THe non profit (Wounded Warriors Support Group) contributed $108,689 to Central Coast Equine. CCE relies on WWSG for all of its funding to pay its bills. We provide and offer these received horses to WWSG for the healing of physically and mentally wounded veterans. We are working together.” The WWSG had no such therapy program for wounded veterans.
As for spending donated moneys at clothing stores? President Matthew Gregory explained they were gifts for volunteers staffing the raffles. “We buy them a little gift, maybe a bra or panties,” he told reporters.
A copy of the lawsuit can be seen here.Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773
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