Paris prosecutors have opened up a judicial inquiry into the activities of 17 charities, including organisations that raise funds to fight cancer, on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.
Most of the charities are based in the United States. The authorities have accused the fund raisers of misusing millions of euros donated by the public to their respective causes. This woman works for one of the charities under investigation: “ Everything is monitored donors receive a yearly report. They know exactly where their money is going. They receive tax receipts. Donors can always call and we are here to help.” Prosecutors allege that only a small part of the funds collected-from 1 to 20 percent-is used to finance the advertised causes. Investigators are looking into where the rest of the cash goes. Its believed the founders and directors of the companies are being targeted in the probe. Fraud officials will also look into the role of the direct-marketing companies, which write the scripts asking for contributions. They are suspected of holding back a large amount of money collected.