"The trustees of this charity grossly abused their responsibilities as guardians of charitable assets," Brown said. "They betrayed the trust of donors by squandering donations on such things as an expensive Caribbean cruise and trips to posh resorts."
According to the Attorney General, the Association for Firefighters and Paramedics, Inc., based in Santa Ana, misrepresented how and where donations would be spent, and mailed out invoices for pledges that had never been never made. Board members also diverted $33,000 from the charity for out-of-town board meetings in San Diego and Las Vegas, and a Caribbean cruise for board members and their families before a meeting in Florida.
The settlement, filed in the Orange County Superior Court, recovers $100,000 in funds diverted from the charity, plus attorney's fees and investigative costs. According to the Attorney General, for the next four years, the charity's fundraising materials and program expenses will be closely monitored.