Scott PruittScott Pruitt, Oklahoma Attorney General Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is on the warpath against deceptive fundraising and has set his sight on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
In March, Pruitt issued a consumer warning against HSUS, warning Oklahomans of the group’s solicitations and advertisements made in the wake of the May 2013 tornado outbreak. Read more here.
Now Pruitt is back — this time with an inquiry into HSUS' fundraising campaigns after Quadriga Art, a charity fundraiser for HSUS and other nonprofit organizations, recently agreed to a $25 million settlement. According to the New York attorney general, it is the largest settlement ever reached in the U.S. on deceptive fundraising.
And it’s this settlement that led Pruitt to issue subpoenas to HSUS.
“We believe what happened in New York potentially has happened in Oklahoma,” Pruitt told the radio show, “All Around Oklahoma Agriculture.”
“The documents and information we are seeking [in the subpoenas] will be objectively measured,” he said. “When you raise literally hundreds of millions of dollars and all we see - so far - is less than 1 percent of those monies going into what are considered local shelters, it is a very fair and right question to ask this organization nationally – are they are being deceptive and unfair in their communications as they raise money from citizens from state to state?”
If the evidence does point to deceptive practices, Pruitt intends to “bring enforcement actions to prevent them from doing that in the future and seek to recover damages.”
Pruitt also indicated the investigation into HSUS fundraising may soon involve other states.
“I’ve been in contact with other state Attorneys General. We have talked about this on a national basis. There may be other states that join soon,” he said, adding there is nothing “concrete” about involvement from other states at this time.