ANNAPOLIS, MD – Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced today a Cease and Desist Order has been issued against We Can Cer-Vive! and its president and founder, Mia Wright. The order follows an investigation that revealed multiple violations of the Maryland Solicitations Act, including using false and misleading advertising materials in connection with a solicitation and failing to register with the Secretary of State before soliciting.
“Charities who deceive the public will not be permitted to solicit in Maryland,” said Secretary of State Wobensmith. “We will investigate them, and if an investigation confirms they're scamming the public, take those steps necessary to shut down any and all unlawful practices.”
“Consumers who are generous enough to give shouldn’t have to worry whether their hard-earned money is being sent to sham charities,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Thanks to the work of our office and the Secretary of State’s Office, we are stopping yet another scammer from defrauding the public, and giving Marylanders the confidence that their contributions will be used by legitimate organizations.”
We Can Cer-Vive! solicited charitable donations and falsely claimed to be a 501(c)(3) organization using its Web site, various social media outlets, and various fundraising events prior to the cease and desist order. An investigation by the Secretary of State’s Charities and Legal Services Division, aided by the Office of the Attorney General, showed that the organization was allegedly misrepresenting itself as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and falsely claimed an affiliation with another nonprofit organization in marketing and advertising materials distributed using these various outlets. The charity was also not registered with the Secretary of State before it began soliciting charitable donations.
The Office of the Secretary of State registers and regulates charitable organizations that solicit charitable contributions in Maryland. The Office works to ensure that charitable contributions made by Marylanders go to qualified charitable organizations and are used for the intended purpose.
Anyone who is solicited by this organization, or any representative on behalf of this organization, is encouraged to contact Michael Brent Dinternman, Investigator, Charities and Legal Services Division at 410-260-3859. To check if a charity is registered or to report other suspected violations of charitable giving law, please call 410-260-3879 or 1-800-825-4510. More information on charities can be found on the Secretary of State’s charity home page:http://www.sos.state.md.us/Charity/SearchCharity.aspx