AC4H must end donation game
Another Chance 4 Horses is in trouble again, this time with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for charity violations. Christy and Rick Sheidy, the founders are sanctioned for spending the organization’s money on a Florida time-share and their mortgage.
Documents state Another Chance 4 Horses (AC4H) continued soliciting charitable contributions after its registration with the commonwealth expired in November 2012. In May 2014, Pennsylvania filed a four-count Order charging the organization’s operators with violations of the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act.
The couple claimed they “assist horses through surrenders/neglect cases, local auctions outbidding kill-buyers, buying sick or injured and purchasing directly out of the kill pens sometimes literally moments before they are shipped to slaughter.”
AC4H posts pleas for donations before “time runs out” for an endless supply of auction horses that flood the group’s Facebook page and website. AC4H’s 2013 Form 990 shows the group had revenue that exceeded $630,000 for the year ending December 31, 2013.
Despite the commonwealth’s allegations, Christy and Rick Sheidy failed to turn over documentation or appear at their hearing for an opportunity to defend themselves. The pair was found to personally benefit at the organization’s expense, in violation of their fiduciary duties, according to records.
The respondents claim they didn’t receive compensation, an investigator discovered Rick Sheidy took $21,700 from AC4H account in 2010. Additionally, Christy Sheidy paid property taxes and made mortgage payments on their home from the organization’s account. Payments were also made to a Florida time-share with donations, which the family personally used.
The Sheidys and AC4H are ordered to cease soliciting contributions for two years and they must pay a $5,000 fine. The group will not be considered for reinstatement until the fine is paid.
The IRS revoked AC4H’s federal tax exemption in May 2014. AC4H failed to file its annual paperwork for three consecutive years, according to the agency’s records.
This isn’t the first time the organization has been scrutinized. The FBI has been investigating AC4H for allegations of fraud for almost two-years. Feds raided the group’s location in April 2013 looking for evidence of multiple crimes, including conspiracy and wire fraud. The FBI’s investigation continues, but no charges have been filed to date.
In November 2014, AC4H pulled its website down and allegedly halted its operation. Christy Sheidy told local media that the shutdown was temporary due to a family illness.