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Charity Adviser Hit With Fraud Charges

(CBS) — A woman whose apparent business scam was first exposed by the 2 Investigators was charged Wednesday with consumer fraud.

As Pam Zekman reports, she allegedly collected thousands of dollars to help aspiring businesses and charities get government licensing and other approvals but failed to do the work.

“Everone that she had done wrong to were people that are just like me — trying to make a difference,” Donna Davis says.

She says she paid Althea Taylor $3,800 to help her church set up a charitable program called “Ring of Hope” to teach children how to defend themselves without guns.

All Davis got was this state incorporation paperwork.

Davis also says Taylor claimed she would help secure a $200,000 grant.

“She ripped us off,” Davis says.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office agrees and charged Taylor with consumer fraud in five cases.

“These services were simply not being rendered by her and her company and it did create a hardship for not-for-profit organizations and individuals,” Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Hudson says.

“I want to get justice,” Davis says. “I want her to appear before a judge and be accountable for her actions.”

Taylor could not be reached for comment. Zekman confronted her about similar allegations in 2012.

Then, Taylor said she had done nothing wrong and helped 2,000 clients in 43 states.

When Zekman asked for documentation to back that up, Taylor made a profane comment and said, “Have a good day.”

The state’s attorney’s office is seeking refunds for the former clients and a court order requiring Taylor to stop using the deceptive practices alleged in this case.

They are urging anyone else who had a similar experience with Taylor to contact the Consumer Fraud Division at 312-603-8600.

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