An investigation by the Consumer Protection Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office has led to the filing of a complaint and the imposition of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Boobies Rock!, Inc., The Se7ven Group, Say No 2 Cancer, and owner Adam Cole Shryock (D.O.B. 10/22/1979) for deceiving consumers into thinking they were donating money to charity. Under the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act and Colorado Consumer Protection Act, Shryock and his companies are preliminarily barred from misrepresenting either that they are charities or are authorized to raise funds on behalf of charities and face statutorily-mandated civil penalties, disgorgement of profits, restitution, and other relief allowed under statute.
“Shryock misled thousands of consumers in Colorado and across the country into believing they were supporting breast cancer-related charities,” said Suthers. “In reality, very little of the money collected went to legitimate cancer groups as Shryock tapped those funds to buy himself a BMW, subscribe to an online dating service, and pay his bar and cleaning service tabs.”
The complaint alleges that defendants would hold promotions all over the country, mostly in bars, and hire promotional models to “take donations” on behalf of Boobies Rock, saying the company was raising money for breast cancer nonprofit groups. The models would sell T-shirts, beer koozies, bracelets and other items with pro-breast or anti-cancer images and/or slogans. While the story line evolved over time, at the core the models told bar owners and customers that a significant percentage of their “donations” would go to cancer-related charities – anywhere from 40 to 90 percent. According to the complaint, none of the legitimate organizations on whose behalf defendants claimed to raise funds had authorized those fundraising efforts, and none of them ever received a charitable donation until they threatened to sue Shryock for fraud.
“Shryock passed through the absolute bare minimum to a series of legitimate nonprofit charities to keep his scheme alive,” elaborated Suthers. “Moreover, the IRS has no record of awarding tax-exempt status to a company he launched in January 2013, Say No2 Cancer. This case is an important example why consumers should be wary of unsolicited charitable appeals and do their homework before they give to any purported charity.”
These defendants are temporarily enjoined from engaging in the advertisement or sale of merchandise or collecting any money on behalf of themselves or any other organization, representing that funds are being raised for charitable causes. The defendants are further enjoined from operating, forming, founding, or establishing any charitable organization, making any charitable solicitations on behalf of any charity; and from using any trade names to make any charitable solicitations.
Consumers or businesses who fear that they have been victimized by this or any other bogus charity should contact the Colorado Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-222-4444, or file a complaint on-line at www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov.