COLUMBUS — A settlement has been reached by the state of Ohio with the operator of “Teens With Dreams,” an organization that operated around Toledo and Columbus and collected money through door-to-door solicitations by kids, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday.
An investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section found that much of the money collected by Teens With Dreams went to the organization’s founder, Darnell Robinson, and that there was little evidence to suggest that any charitable programming actually occurred.
Under the settlement, Robinson agrees to dissolve Teens With Dreams and to never again incorporate or create an Ohio nonprofit organization.
Teens With Dreams’ stated purpose was “to keep teens busy and off the streets and also to do work free for seniors and help community fundraisers, etc.” but investigators found that Teens With Dreams generally operated by recruiting kids ages 11 to 16 to go door to door asking for money and providing collected funds to Robinson, while allowing the kids to keep a portion of the money.
According to the Attorney General’s investigation, Teens With Dreams did not have 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, did not properly register with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and did not keep proper accounting of charitable funds.
The settlement (an assurance of discontinuance) was filed with the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Questionable charitable activity should be reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-515.