Joplin tornado fundraiser diverted funds for personal use - KOAM TV 7

Joplin tornado fundraiser diverted funds for personal use

Missouri Attorney Chris Koster announces a New Orleans-based fundraiser, Relief Spark, has agreed to pay $39,200 to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks for rebuilding efforts in Joplin, after an investigation revealed that Sidney Ray-Bazan with Relief Spark collected more than $133,000 in donations and illegally diverted more than $39,000 - nearly 30 percent - of that money for personal use. 

The investigation revealed Ray-Bazan made frequent cash withdrawals and transfers to her personal account from the charity’s banking account and spent donated funds at New Orleans restaurants, coffee shops, upscale children’s clothing boutiques, veterinary offices, grocery stores, and even on her children’s babysitter.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which will in turn provide the funds to Rebuild Joplin, a non-profit agency that has been dedicated to Joplin’s rebuilding efforts.

Missouri Attorney General says, "We were tipped off about irregularities at Relief (Spark).  There were volunteers who were helping Relief Spark collect funds who became suspicious that the funds weren't getting to the places they were supposed to get to."

Click here for the full press release from Attorney Generals Chris Koster office.
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