NewsLocal News


Attorney General Nessel aims to dissolve allegedly fake nonprofits

Posted at 4:59 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 16:59:52-04

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is seeking to dissolve 10 allegedly fraudulent organizations for failing to comply with state nonprofit and charity laws.

These groups have names similar to those of legitimate nonprofits, like “the American Cancer Foundation,” but appear to serve no charitable or commercial purpose. Now, Attorney General Dana Nessel has announced that a complaint to dissolve the illegitimate entities was filed Aug. 11 in Ingham County Circuit Court and assigned to Judge Clinton Canady III.

Entities identified in the complaint are the American Cancer Foundation (ACS) of Detroit, ACF of Grand Rapids, ACF of Lansing, ACF of Michigan, American Cancer Society (ACS) of Detroit, ACS of Michigan, American Red Cross (ARC) of Detroit, ARC of Michigan, United Way of Detroit, and United Way of Michigan.

The subjects identified in the complaint are Ian Richard Hosang, Claudia Stephen, Lincoln Palsey.

The entities were all incorporated in Michigan in 2018 by Hosang, who is identified as the resident agent. Hosang is a former stockbroker from New York who the Attorney General Nessel says has a history of alleged fraudulent activity across multiple states. He has registered nonprofits in California, Wisconsin, Ohio, Georgia, New York, Florida and Maryland that use similar variations on the names United Way, American Red Cross and American Cancer Society.

Stephen and Palsey are identified as officers and directors for some of the entities, although neither Hosang nor the other defendants live in Michigan. All have New York addresses.

The entities themselves appear to have false or misleading information connected to them, according to the Attorney General’s office. None are registered with the Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Division, which is a legal requirement for nonprofit entities.

“Michigan philanthropists and charitable donors do a great deal of good with their contributions to nonprofits here in the Great Lakes State and elsewhere throughout the world to create and support positive change for worthy causes,” Nessel said. “However, anyone who chooses to donate – no matter how large or small the contribution – should not have to sift through fraudulent entities before finding a reputable one to support. My office has a responsibility to protect charitable interests in this state, and I take that responsibility seriously to ensure donors are not deceived or misled by dishonest individuals or organizations.”

A copy of the complaint is available HERE.