Charity Fund Fleece?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Tax season is around the corner.  Have you ever donated to your favorite charity by checking it off on your Illinois tax form?  Bet you didn’t know, for years, lawmakers and governors have taken or borrowed some of that money for other bills.
And it hasn’t been just charity funds.  Other funds set up to protect consumers have been taken by the millions for other things.

A budget expert from the University of Illinois calls it a shell game.  Taxpayers might call it immoral.  Governor Quinn insists he’s put a stop to it.  But as our WGN investigation shows, he’s done it too.

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  • Laura

    This happened 2 years ago! I am very upset about your report. There is a minimum donation amount that all these funds must meet in order to stay on the voluntary charitable donation list, and what you've just done by airing this will do the exact opposite of what I assume to be your intended purpose — it'll make it nearly impossible for us to raise the much needed money to help support things like Childhood Cancer Research in IL. It's horrible that this happened in the past, but as was clearly stated non-sweeping text is written into law now, too. And to top it off, the end line where you warned everyone about the "red tape" making it difficult for the charities to actually receive the money being collected through donations is ridiculous… the new check box options are written such that it's NOT TIED to any ONE charity, but rather open so that grants around the state can be funded for the purpose of the charitable contribution. Did you speak to any of the folks representing the check boxes about this? While I DO NOT want the government to use the funds from the charitable donations however they see fit – and exposing that foul practice will hopefully stop them from ever doing that again – I DO still want people to donate and feel that their donation IS doing what it was intended to do. As I stated to begin with, I'm very, very upset about this report — Were you trying to make sure that people DON'T donate and these check boxes DON'T remain on Schedule G? Because that's going to be the result of the fear you've just planted…

    • jerry

      Gee Laura, maybe the charities you so passionately defend should have and should do their do dilligence to ensure money contributed gets to the correct organizations. Why shoot the messengers ??? My deepest appreciation goes to anyone that exposes the unbeleivable corruption and mismanagement of the public funds in this state. Your sad comments are testimony to the rampant backwards thinking about the amoral, immoral and outright criminal political choke hold on the people in Illinois. To make it simple for you to understand, it's the politicians who have lost the public trust that will make it harder for your charities to operate not the reporters who did a commendable job of exposing this lunacy! Wake up lady!

      • Diane

        Jerry – you rare an idiot. You're missing the point. This is about taking money away from research to save children with cancer. Do you have a child with cancer or has died from cancer. Running this story at this time may have an adverse affect on those of us, cancer mom's, who are fighting for funding for new research. As the American Cancer Society has said, they don't worry about the children, eventually cancer research for adult cancers will trickle down to the children. But the children don't have time to wait. They're dying now. You wake up. This story was not needed, especially right now. Corruption happens, but if it has been corrected why dredge it up now. I hope you never have to face cancer with a child you love, that will be treated with a treatment protocol that is 25 years old.

      • Kurt

        Jerry is not an idiot, he is right on the money. Diane, you lose all credibility when you start name calling. I personally never give on my state tax form precisely because I do not trust this lousy state. Laura, if telling the truth is harmful then God help us, we are doomed.

  • pagan69

    You want to know why we have this pension fund crisis, the exact same reason. When you take money out the pension fund or don’t put it in at all there is nothing to pay the retirees when they retire, our state government has been looting, that is right stealing your money for years. If this state was a business, the corporate partners (politicians) would be guilty of fraud. Here is what I would like to see you all do, Like Good Little Sheepeople Keep Electing the same people to office, you deserve what you get. If you want chance Vote For The Other Guy!

  • Penny

    Does anyone wonder what the Attorney General of the State of Illinois does with all her time? Investigating such blatant fraud when her FATHER is the ringleader would never happen!!!

  • badbad1

    If I rob a bank, it will be news, hopefully justice will be done, I go to jail. If I take money from your purse/wallet, you will call police. If a 70 year old is cheated, you will want justice. If you gave to a charity, such as I, in 1040IL year after year, for breast cancer research, and that money did not get to research for a cure, I was robbed, all of us have had someone we know die of cancer: we all have been robbed. Governor, return my money, it is not yours, I paid my taxes, but this was not a donation to you to pay the State obligations:"you stole it" bank robber: Mr. Governor, a FELLON. Come to the grave of my mother and tell her, "I could have perhaps helped you, but I stole money that was to be used to help, so many future mothers, daughters and sons." Governor, House, Senate you are no better than the scum of the Earth. I have plans in the works to leave IL forever, you the 13 million in the state should start to plan too.

  • sadsack

    Take one take all…The eledcted B(*& just do what they want to…..Just goes to show you voted for Obama you got him what a load of cra(&…….Have to love this state of the mistake…heheheh moveing out of here good bye Black mommy

  • David

    why would anyone believe the state could manage a charity fund better than a non-profit? for crying out loud, the state steals our money every year to give it to the bums who refuse to work, so quit using the check off and write a check to your favorite charity instead! don't give the politicians the chance to steal it!