The Cancer Fund of America raised almost half a million dollars in 2012, purportedly to pay for prostheses, bras and other products for women battling breast disease — but little actually went to patients.
Only $37,280, or a little more than 8 percent of the $448,276 collected, was used for the intended purposes, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Utah alleges.
It says the fund, which also uses the name Breast Cancer Financial Assistance Fund (BCFAF), kept the remaining $410,996.
The BBB says programs should receive 65 percent or more of donations.
On Tuesday, the BBB urged potential donors to use caution when solicited for donations by BCFAF, which has an office in Salt Lake City.
The Cancer Fund of America/BCFAF has been the subject of numerous legal actions by government agencies, the bureau says, and was recently dubbed the Second Worst Charity in the United States in a report by the Tampa Bay Times in Florida and the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The Cancer Fund of America is based in Knoxville, Tenn. The Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code says BCFAF lists a local address in Midvale, but the Cancer Fund of America confirmed that BCFAF operates from a Salt Lake City office, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The bureau reported that a neighboring tenant at the Salt Lake City location says the tenant at the BCFAF address is Feature Films for Families.
Forrest S. Baker is the chief executive officer of Feature Films for Families and a principal in Corporations for Character, which was hired by the Cancer Fund of America to solicit donations, the BBB says.
A 2011 lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission alleged Feature Films for Families and Corporations for Character, a fundraising company, made 16 million calls to numbers on the Do Not Call Registry and misrepresented how funds would be used.