N.J. Consumer Affairs prosecutes another coin-can fundraiser
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2006:
HACKENSACK, N.J.–Exiting New Jersey Office of Consumer
Affairs director Kimberly Ricketts on August 2, 2006, her last day
with the agency, appealed for public help to locate and impound an
estimated 1,400 to 1,500 coin collection canisters believed to have
been placed by an entity calling itself Lovers of Animals.
The Office of Consumer Affairs has filed suit, reported
Newark Star-Ledger staff writer Brian T. Murray, alleging improper
accounting for about $7,500 raised and spent in 2005.
The case followed the state shutdown of coin can fundraiser
Patrick Jemas in June 2006. Jemas did business as the National
Animal Welfare Foundation.
“Lovers of Animals was incorporated when Russell Frontera,
49, of Beachwood was furloughed from state prison in late 2004 after
serving two years of a seven-year sentence for loan sharking,” wrote
Murray. “His name appears on documents filed with the Internal
Revenue Service and the state that year, when he also opened a post
office box for the charity.
“Frontera was banned from charity work for five years under a
consent agreement with the state in 1993,” Murray added. “The state
had sued his AIDS Research Foundation in Toms River, accusing him
and his wife of soliciting funds to help people with AIDS, but
spending only a tiny fraction on supposed beneficiaries. A court
found him in violation of the 1993 order a year later, when Frontera
and his wife began operating a pet rescue operation involving 150
canisters placed in businesses around Toms River.”
Frontera told Murray that his name was wrongly put on the
Lovers of Animals paperwork by an accountant hired by his sister,
Lovers of Animals president Josephine Thornton.