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Car charities eyed in Cuomo crackdown

June 15, 2010 2:49:15 PM PDT
At the Feed the Hungry business address in Coney Island, the front gate is padlocked. The exterior fencing is rusty and old. Two dilapidated trucks sit on the Neptune Avenue lot, overgrown with weeds.

It's where some with generous hearts and spirits come to donate cars so the homeless can eat.

However, the Attorney General's office calls this operation a total sham.

"Of the more than $430,000 that Feed the Hungry received in donations, less than $7,900, that's 1.8 percent, was used for charitable purposes," Mitra Hormozi, AG Special Deputy Chief of Staff, said.

That's more than 420-thousand dollars that the Feed the Hungry director, Nicholas Cascone Jr., is accused of spending on himself.

There was no answer at his Staten Island home Tuesday afternoon.

"When a person donates a car, they get a tax donation. They get a reduction on their tax liability. That's a public subsidy, which means the public is also being defrauded," Attorney General Cuomo said.

Cascone was interviewed by the Attorney General's Office and he refused to answer questions, pleading the fifth more than 150 times.

Feed the Hungry isn't the only car donation charity under the microscope.

There are 16 total organizations under investigation, like Kars for Kids, known for its popular jingle.

"We have reason to believe this the fraud is wide spread throughout this areas. And that's why were pursing the subpoenas in this investigation," Cuomo said.

As for Feed the Hungry, Cuomo wants to shut it down, dissolve its assets and this time really use this money for charity.

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Charities under investigation:

Bless the Kids, Inc.
Breast Cancer Society
Cars that Help, Inc.
Louis Cardillo
Children in Crises
Children's Cancer Fund of America
Children's Literacy Fund
Feed the Hungry, Inc.
Arthur Glass
Heritage for the Blind
Hope for the Disabled Kids, Inc
J. O. Y. for our Youth, Inc. d/b/a Kars 4 Kids
Lechaim for Life
Neo Presearch Energy Foundation, Inc.
Tree of Life
We Buy Cars, Inc.

To learn if a charity is legitimate, please visit www.charitiesnys.com ---

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