A New Jersey couple is being sued by the state's Division of Consumer Affairs for allegedly spending money collected by their Hurricane Sandy Relief charity on personal items, reported CBS. State officials have also said that the couple, John Sandberg and Christina Terraccino, failed to register their charity correctly.
The suit filed last Thursday, says that despite having raised $631,000 for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation by January, only $1,650 of it had been given in aid to Hurricane Sandy victims. On their website, the organization states that donations go to “clean up efforts, and the future rebuilding of communities and lives destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.”
The suit also alleges that $13,000 of the money raised, was transferred by the Sparta couple into a personal bank account with $ 4,500 going to restaurants and retail stores among other things, and $8,000 used to pay a personal credit card.
Officials have also said that despite claiming on their website that the organization is tax-exempt able, the couple did not correctly register the Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation as a charity.
The organization's website also claims to have ties to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, a charity set up by Gov. Chris Christie and first lady Pat Christie, as well as subsections of their organization dedicated to relief for Staten Island and New York City.
The Asbury Park Press reported that Sandberg planned the relief group, days before Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey and registered over 100 domain names having to do with Sandy relief.