If you have suspicions that an organization is inappropriately soliciting funds for Hurricane Katrina victims please do not hestitate to contact your local attorney general's office. plk
Missouri Sues Web Site Purporting to Raise Funds
The Missouri attorney general, Jay Nixon, filed a lawsuit this afternoon against InternetDonations.org, the hub for a constellation of Web sites erected over the last several days purporting to collect donations for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Also named in the lawsuit, Mr. Nixon said, is the apparent operator of the donation sites, Frank Weltner, a St. Louis resident and radio talk show personality with ties to neo-Nazi organizations and the notorious Web site JewWatch.com.
That site, which indexes Adolf Hitler's writings, transcripts of anti-Semitic radio broadcasts, and other materials, drew wide headlines last year when it appeared at or near the top of Google search results for the query "Jew."
The Missouri lawsuit seeks to freeze the assets of Internet Donations Inc., a nonprofit entity registered with the Missouri secretary of state's office by Mr. Weltner on Sept. 2, and to shut down the dozen or so Web sites with names like KatrinaFamilies.com, Katrina-Donations.com and NewOrleansCharities.com.
Most of the affiliated Web sites appear to have been registered using DomainsByProxy.com, a service that masks the identity of a domain name registrant.
But Mr. Weltner's name appeared on public documents obtained through the Missouri secretary of state's Web site, indicating that he had incorporated Internet Donations as a nonprofit entity last Friday.
It is unclear whether any of the sites successfully drew money from any donors or if Mr. Weltner, who did not respond to repeated telephone calls and e-mails, had channeled any proceeds to the better-known charities named on his Web site.
"It's the lowest of the low when someone solicits funds" this way, Mr. Nixon said in an interview prior to announcing the lawsuit.
"We don't want one more penny from well-meaning donors going through this hater."
Summarized by Copernic Summarizer