Fields hit for alleged Love & Care fraud

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1995:

COVINGTON COUNTY, Alabama––A six-
year probe by the Alabama office of the attorney general,
assisted by ANIMAL PEOPLE, on June 26 brought
counts of fraud, deceit, and deceptive trade practices
against the no-kill shelter Love And Care for God’s
Animalife Inc., Ann P. Fields a.k.a. Ann Lagunas a.k.a.
Marjorie Jacobs a.k.a. Rebecca Garcia, her former husband
Jerry Fields, and her apparently much younger current hus-
band, Victor Lagunas.
Suing on behalf of three named creditors plus
“numerous contributors,” the complaint seeks to dissolve
Love And Care and turn the shelter facility, near
Andalusia, Alabama, over to a properly constituted non-
profit board of directors.

“Since the late 1980s,” the complaint states,
“Defendants Ann Lagunas and Jerry Fields have resided in
California and utilized the proceeds of the numerous contri-
butions, donations, and loans made to the animal shelter
by various contributors as the primary, if not total source
of support for their personal, family, and household
expenses. These defendants, along with defendant Victor
Lagunas since his marriage to Ann Fields, have converted
the monies donated for the supposed exclusive support and
maintenance of the animals to their personal use by paying
for such items as: vehicles, motorcycles, weddings, hon-
eymoons, mortgage and/or lease payments on personal res-

idences, utility bills, clothing and other personal and
household goods too numerous to list in this Complaint.
Despite representations that all loans would be repaid as
quickly as possible and despite the receipt of approximate-
ly $250,000 in September 1993 from a trust created for the
maintenance of animals, none of the loans made to defen-
dants by the named plaintiffs has been repaid.”
Never incorporated nonprofit, LCGAL ran up
state tax liens totaling $31,000 and––as of 1989––already
owed a federal tax lien of $574,889, apparently never paid.
While Ann Fields claimed to manage the shelter
herself, the complaint continues, she apparently visited
only once after relocating to Alabama from Georgia in
1988, following trouble with Georgia authorities and cred-
itors. Meanwhile, the complaint avers, the shelter has
been staffed in part by illegal aliens.
Among many urgent fundraising appeals based
on allegedly false claims was the assertion in March 1995
that the shelter had been damaged by freezing rain during
the week of February 10-16, when the average daily tem-
perature in the region never dipped below 75 degrees
Fahrenheit. Such appeals allegedly netted Fields et al
$75,000 to $100,000 per month.
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