Yonkers company behind scam charity donation bins to pay $700K - Metro US

Yonkers company behind scam charity donation bins to pay $700K


A Yonkers-based company responsible for more than 1,100 clothing donation bins around the metropolitan area — including hundreds across the outer boroughs — will pay out $700,000 in a settlement.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached the agreement after his office accused Thrift Land USA of tricking residents to donate clothing in the company’s bins and then selling the donations for $10 million in profit.

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Carl Vella, who operated Thrift Land, would pay two non profits — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County and I Love Our Youth, Inc. — a small, monthly fee to use the names on the bins.

Both nonprofits also settled with the attorney general. The agreement with Vella demands that he take off the charity names and disclose on his bins that the donations won’t go to charity.

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On top of a $50,000 fine, Vella will also need to donate $650,000 to the the New York Community Trust and the Westchester Community Foundation nonprofits, Schneiderman’s office said.

“When a for-profit company masquerades as a charity, my office will hold it and its owners accountable,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

The New York City Council passed a law in 2014 that fines operators who place donation bins on public property, forcing them off city sidewalks.

Bins on private property must still be registered to avoid fines.

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