Is using an unlicensed business name to take in donations fraud?

Is it legal or ethical to run under a business name and ask for public donations when you are not who you say you are or licensed under that name? Per the IRS guidelines the answer to that answer would be a big “NO”.  Maybe this is why there is so much outrage between so many in Facebook Animal Rescue. This example goes back to the Michigan Federal Court Case where the plaintiff Penelope Ashenhurt ( you see here) is tweeting for donations from the general public and uses the name CCAC Rescue Team. Penelope Ashenhurst lives in Tonypandy UK and the CCAC Shelter we keep hearing about is in Whiteville, North Carolina, this alone brings questions to my mind on why someone in the UK is asking for donations for a State Bound Animal Shelter.

I also called Columbus County Animal Control Shelter in Whiteville, NC and asked the staff there if Penelope Ashenhurst from the UK was an authorized employee of the shelter, the answer was NO. I then asked if she was indeed CCAC Rescue Team and the answer I received was, Ma’am I don’t know who she is or what she is doing but I get calls about her all the time and I know people give her a lot of money. Other than that I don’t know what to tell you, all these woman run on FaceBook and drive me crazy.

So Penelope Ashenhurst is indeed not CCAC Rescue Team legally, it’s just a business name that she gave herself to use. So what comes of all the money she has collected thru these Chip In’s, Tweets, Powabunga and more? That’s the unanswered question at the moment. Are these funds reported to the IRS or to any State within the US and if so under what name as still today I can not find a CCAC Rescue Team registered in 28 US States.

Maybe it’s time for people to verify if an Animal Rescue Group, Team or Organization is legally registered prior to hitting the send button with Paypal. After all you do want your funds going to the animal in the picture that caught your attention in the first place don’t you?

Lesson here, Buyer Beware.

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