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Charities exploit vulnerable elderly

Jon Burstein of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reviewed more than 700 pages of court documents and sworn statements involving two companies, as well as more than 1,500 pages of financial records obtained by the Attorney General's Office to show a pattern of telemarketers getting money from senior citizens who seem confused or hearing-impaired. The Global Mindlink Foundation and its sister nonprofit organization, Select International Donors, took in more than $5.3 million since August 1999, but less than 2 percent went to charitable causes, according to federal tax returns and the groups' accounting records. "Instead, company officials were using the money for everything from a $2,885 stay at a Key West hotel to a $301 meal at a Boca Raton restaurant, records show."

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