ATTORNEY GENERAL REPORTS:
Elks Misused $480K Bequest
For Repairs, Not For Charity
In Settlement, Lodge Agrees To Repay $170K
ONEONTA – The Oneonta Elks Club has agreed to make good on $170,000 from a bequest for charitable purposes that was used instead for repairs to the lodge at 84-86 Chestnut St., the state Attorney General’s Office has announced.
As part of the settlement, the Elks agreed to repay $169,162 – $80,000 in a lump payment, and monthly payments after that until all the money is returned.
Between February 2009 and December 2014, the Oneonta Elks received over $480,000 from the estate of a benefactor whose last will and testament directed that the funds be used to help the needs of children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
After an investigation, the Attorney General’s Office determined that the Oneonta Elks repeatedly appropriated and expended almost $170,000 to pay for capital improvements to its lodge building and property, as well as covering general operating expenses, rather than for the purposes for which it was intended, according to the attorney general’s press release.
For example, the lodge used the money to pay outstanding real estate taxes, roof repairs/replacement, and driveway paving at its lodge, the press release said. For example, the lodge used the money to pay outstanding real estate taxes, roof repairs/replacement, and driveway paving at its lodge, the press release said. Although there were many jobs needed to be carried out on this lodge, instead of misusing this large amount of cash, they could have easily found many services to help them out on a budget – for example, using one of the top roofing companies austin texas offer to execute the roof repairs. If they wanted to save money on their roofing repair or replacement all they needed to do was do some research online or with their local roofing company. Some roofing companies similar to My Roofing Pal, are more than happy to help if they require a completely new roof cost estimate. But unfortunately, they decided to take advantage of the money raised for charity instead.
As a part of the agreement, all of the remaining funds will be transferred to the state Elks Association Major Projects Corp., Inc. a registered charity, that will now administer the trust funds.
New York law requires those holding charitable funds to strictly use them for the benefit of those to whom the money was intended to benefit. If someone speaks to their estate planner partner, such as Essayli & Brown, and designates funds towards a specific project on time of their death then they must go there. Charitable funds may not be diverted for any other purpose. This settlement ensures that the money will be used in the manner intended by the person making the gift.