Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced on Monday that over $2.5 million recovered from sham charities have been distributed to legitimate cancer charities.

The money was recovered through settlements of a landmark lawsuit against four affiliated sham charities.

“They include the Cancer Fund of America, the Breast Cancer Society, Cancer Support Services and the Children’s Cancer Fund of America,” said Fox. “Together they had defrauded Americans including Montanans out of literally tens of millions of dollars. We got them shut down and then eventually all 50 states joined in that action, and we’re pleased to announce that not only did we shut them down back in 2015, but ultimately it resulted in what we announced today that $2.5 million will be distributed to cancer centers across the country through this multi-state enforcement action.”

Fox named the legitimate charities that have received the seized funds.

“The monies have been transferred to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers who under an agreement with the 50 states will distribute those funds to select health and medical programs that actually do target breast and pediatric cancer,” he said. “Some of that money will ultimately come to Montana for the benefit of cancer patients here.”

Fox said it’s important for consumers to be careful of the charities that support.

“Don’t fall for high pressure tactics and don’t ever give cash to people who say they’ll come by and pick it up,” he said. “Also, there shouldn’t be any sort of sweepstakes or prize associated with the donation, that’s another red flag to watch out for.”

Anyone with questions about such issues should contact the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection.

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