Monday, December 14, 2009

Kars4kids defends its reputation

Kars4Kids writes to respond to the December 12th article in the Newark Star Ledger involving the suggestion that Kars4Kids or any of its related charities have been involved in financial misdeeds, including money laundering or other illegal practices.  Not only are any such suggestions completely false the newspaper report is based on unjustified accusations in court papers from a court case that has nothing at all to do with Kars4Kids.  Those papers do make serious accusations against a number of charities involving millions of dollars. BUT KARS4KIDS IS NOT ONE OF THEM

The article states at the very beginning that "At issue are millions in payments to Kars4Kids and more than 60 other registered charities."  This is completely misleading.  No one -- not even the lawyers who made the original claims -- has EVER said that "millions" of dollars having anything to do with Eliyahu Weinstein have ever been paid by, through or to Kars4Kids. (In fact Mr. Weinstein has never even donated to our charity!)  Of all the transactions involving Kars4Kids that the lawyer in question claimed "carry the scent of money laundering," despite the impression left by the newspaper article,

In fact, the same lawyer who made these claims filed an extensive list in court detailing the "millions of dollars" he thinks may be money laundering, down to the penny.  Anyone can download this list from the Internet. It names every one of the 68 Jewish charities he is accusing of possible involvement in this crime and the specific amounts involved.

The Star Ledger chose to write about the "local angle" -- a New Jersey charity whose name people recognize because of its success.  The magnetism of such a story to its readers, when mixed with the "religious wrongdoers" claims, was raw meat to the newspaper.  It was prepared to publish this story no matter how desperately it had to cut and paste unconnected "facts" or even unconnected accusations.  There are serious accusations against charities in this lawsuit, but KARS4KIDS IS NOT ONE OF THEM!

So what is the Kars4Kids "connection"?  A few years ago Kars4Kids was involved with a single transaction with a third party.  That third party in turn conveyed money to the defendant in that lawsuit, Eliyahu Weinstein, with no direct involvement of Kars4Kids.  Two years prior Oorah, Inc., a related charity, exchanged its old office 421 West County Line Road for the office building located next door to its current headquarters at 1785 Swarthmore.  The lawyer involved in the present Weinstein litigation, seeing the name of Kars4Kids in banking records produced in the case, served us with a subpoena so he could satisfy his clients that nothing "went on" with Kars4Kids and his client's money.  We resisted the subpoena at first because it was unnecessarily invasive and broad.  Our charity has nothing to hide, but is obligated to protect its donors privacy and its own private information.  We filed a motion in that court to quash the subpoena and eventually worked out a friendly agreement to give them what they needed to go on with their case.  That litigation is going on and involves a large number of accusations, suspected transactions and defendants.  KARS4KIDS IS NOT ONE OF THEM

Kars4Kids is the real deal.  We have nothing to hide and because the public has supported our programs so generously we have no need to make money the dishonest way, and never have.  There are lots of negative stories out there, unfortunately, that put Klal Yisroel in a bad light, and a lot of people and institutions that bear great guilt for causing Chillul Hashem by their actions.  KARS4KIDS IS NOT ONE OF THEM!


  1. i've wondered however about the fact that a number of these charities' advertisements make no mention of the religious connection (i.e. they say we do "outreach" and help local kids)

    Also for those who hold we should not be taking tzedaka from non bnai-brit, how is this allowable?
    Joel Rich

  2. Where do they actually defend their actions, rather than assert that they aren't the appropriate target for the lawsuit and newspaper story?

    Lemaaseh, they did misrepresent themselves to donors. Did I miss where they say otherwise? All I saw was that were upset that this was lumped together in a newsstory with some more egregious crimes involving greater sums.

    It also looks like Kars4Kids is claiming they're not guilty of the one transaction they're discussing, Oorah was. Oorah is described as "a third party" who acted with "no direct involvement by Kars4Kids"? Is that sentence in itself fully honest?


  3. Their website clearly states where the money goes. That's more than you can say for many other organizations. Kars4Kids' solicitations are far more transparant than The Salvation Army's.

    >Where do they actually defend their actions<

    They said they were in a real-estate transaction with Weinstein; that they bought property from him. That's not a crime. Someone bought O.J. Simpson's home and that doesn't make them party to murder.

    Oorah is not Kars4Kids. Oorah is one of the charities that benefits from Kars4Kids. Big difference.

    Micha--there's plenty of Jew bashing sites on the web, if that's what you're after. Judge Oorah on the side of schus until the facts tell you different. Right now, the facts say they are clean. -Chaim

  4. how come these people who write articles such as this come up on providing articles like that?

    i mean, how can the possibly know?
    what's their proof?

  5. Star Ledger Takes First Step to Correct False, Unfounded Attack on Kars4Kids

    December 18, 2009 -- Lakewood, NJ -- Kars4Kids was shocked by the recent false allegations in a recent story in The Star Ledger (“Alleged Ponzi scheme ensnares Kars4Kids,” published December 12). When confronted with the mistruth in their piece, The Star Ledger agreed last night to remove the story from their website, where it is no longer found. Further, Kars4Kids anticipates a retraction and apology in the publication for the damage done to its organization.

    The article misstated facts about Kar4Kids and suggested that Kars4Kids was involved in “a massive, international Ponzi scheme” and in laundering money. Both suggestions were absolutely false, and were never made anywhere, including in the court papers cited by The Star Ledger. The newspaper further misreported on a civil litigation that has nothing whatsoever to do with Kars4Kids.

    Unfortunately, these gross misrepresentations in the Star Ledger's defamatory story, which were, in turn, picked up by numerous other media outlets and internet sites, suggest that the editorial decisions made to publish the piece were not motivated by journalistic concerns. So what was the motivation? One can only guess.


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