Equine Law Matter - Closed - Get Information, Read Court Documents

STATE OF OHIO, MIKE DEWINE, OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL Plaintiff, vs. FROG POND FARM, INC. and LISA GORDON, Defendants.

 No. 14 CV 66

Plaintiff, State of Ohio ex ret. Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, hereby alleges:

I. Jurisdiction and Venue

1. Plaintiff, State of Ohio, by and through the Attorney General of Ohio, Mike De Wine, having
reasonable cause to believe that violations of Ohio law have occurred, brings this complaint
in the public interest and under the authority vested in the Attorney General by Ohio Revised
Code Section 109.23 et seq. (“Ohio Charitable Trust Act”), Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1716
(“Ohio Charitable Organizations Act”), and the Attorney General’s common law authority to
enforce charitable trusts.

2. Defendant Frog Pond Farm, Inc.’s principal place of business is at 58820 Claysville Road,
Cambridge, OH 43725.
3. Defendant Lisa Gordon Cambridge, OH 43725.
4. Defendants’ actions, as described herein, occurred in the State of Ohio, involved residents of
the State of Ohio, and constitute violations of the common law, Ohio Charitable Trust Act,
and Ohio Charitable Organizations Act.
5. This is an action seeking injunctive relief, equitable relief, and damages for Defendants’
violations of the common law, Ohio Charitable Trust Act, and Ohio Charitable Organizations
Act. The amount in controversy exceeds $25,000.00.
II. Activities of Defendants Which Give Rise to this Complaint
6. Defendant Lisa Gordon is one of the co-founders, along with her husband and mother

and is the president of Frog Pond Farm, Inc.
7. Defendant Lisa Gordon filed Frog Pond Farm’s Articles of Non-Profit Organization with the
Ohio Secretary of State on March 5, 2004.
8. Defendant Frog Pond Farm’s stated charitable purpose was “to give equines a much-needed
chance for survival. We welcome draft horses and draft ponies that are no longer needed or
wanted by the current owners, remove them from slaughter sale situations or take from
abuse/neglect cases and placed in homes that both want them and will provide a safe, secure
and permanent home.”
9. To fulfill this charitable purpose, Defendants would buy or otherwise rescue horses from

10. Defendants solicited money from the public by telling them that their donation would be used to rescue horses.

11. Defendant Frog Pond Farm, Inc. is a “charitable organization,’ as that term is defined in R.C.
§ 1716.01(A) and a “charitable trust” as that term is defined in R.C. § 109.23.
12. The funds raised and held by Defendants on behalf of charitable purposes are subject to a
valid “charitable trust” under R.C. § 109.23.
13. Defendant Lisa Gordon has fiduciary duties under R.C. § 109.23 et seq., R.C. § 1716.17, and
the common law.
14. The Ohio Charitable Trust Act enumerates certain registration and reporting requirements
with which charitable trusts established or active in Ohio must comply and it prohibits certain
acts and practices in the administration of any charitable trusts.
15. Defendants failed to register with the Ohio Attorney General as a charitable trust established
or active in Ohio within six months after the creation of the charitable trust from 2004-2012.
16. The Ohio Charitable Organizations Act enumerates certain registration and reporting
requirements with which a charitable organization must comply if it intends to solicit
contributions in Ohio and it prohibits certain acts and practices when soliciting for such
contributions.
17. Defendants failed to file a Registration Statement with the Ohio Attorney General before
engaging in solicitation.
18. Defendants failed to file a copy of the current charter, articles of incorporation, agreement of
association, instrument of trust, constitution, or other organizational instrument, and a copy
of the bylaws of Frog Pond Farm, Inc. with the Ohio Attorney General before engaging in
solicitation.
19. Defendants failed to file a statement setting forth the place where and the date when
Defendant Frog Pond Farm was legally established, the form of its organization, and its tax

exempt status, with a copy of its federal tax exemption determination letter, with the Ohio
Attorney General before engaging in solicitation.
20. Defendants failed to file registration fees with the Ohio Attorney General before engaging in
solicitation.
21. Defendants failed to file a financial report with the Ohio Attorney General for Fiscal Years
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2013.
22. Defendant Lisa Gordon provided false and misleading information to the attorney general in
response to a request from the attorney general under section R.C. § 1716.15 by stating that
she was providing all transactions from the charity’s Pay Pal account while leaving out
numerous transactions.
23. Defendant Lisa Gordon knowingly made a false statement to the attorney general by stating
in an Examination Under Oath conducted pursuant to R.C. § 1716.15 (1) that she never used

charitable funds for non-charitable purposes and (2) that she supplied to the attorney
general’s office all transactions from the charity’s Pay Pal account.
24. Defendant Lisa Gordon has personally benefited at the expense of charitable beneficiaries by
taking proceeds collected for charitable purposes and using that money for her own personal
and other unlawful purposes.
COUNT ONE FAILURE TO REGISTER
25. R.C. § 109.26 requires every charitable trust established or active in Ohio to register with the
Ohio Attorney General.
26. Defendants have violated R.C. § 109.26 by failing to register with the Ohio Attorney General
as a charitable trust established or active in Ohio from 2004 through July of 2013.

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