2015 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 18. Corporations
§18-552.14a. Professional fundraisers - Violations of act.

18 OK Stat § 18-552.14a (2015) What's This?

A. Applicable to charitable organizations, professional fundraisers and professional solicitors, the following shall constitute violations of this act:

1. Knowingly making any false material statement or representation on a registration application;

2. Using the name of a person when soliciting contributions or in an advertisement, brochure, stationery or correspondence, without the consent or approval of such person, other than an officer, director or trustee of the charitable organization by or for which contributions are solicited. This paragraph shall not apply to the use of the name of a person that has contributed to or sponsored an event or program of the charitable organization in a report, brochure, program or listing of donors, contributors, sponsors, or supporters issued or published by a charitable organization. This paragraph shall not apply to the use of a public figure’s name and/or likeness truthfully and in good faith, so long as such use does not imply a false endorsement;

3. Knowingly using, in connection with solicitation of contributions for the purpose of deceiving the public, a name similar to other charitable organizations, professional fundraiser, professional solicitor or government agency or political subdivision;

4. Failing to register as required pursuant to Sections 552.3, 552.7 or 552.9, as applicable, of Title 18 of the Oklahoma Statutes unless otherwise exempted by this act;

5. Employing in any solicitation or collection of contributions for a charitable organization any device, scheme or artifice to defraud or for obtaining money or property by means of any false pretense, representation or promise; and

6. Failing or refusing to supply requested information as required by Section 552.9 of Title 18 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

B. The Attorney General or a district attorney may bring an action:

1. To obtain a declaratory judgment that an act or practice violates this act;

2. To enjoin, or to obtain a restraining order against a person who has violated or is violating this act;

3. To recover actual damages, restitution, disgorgement and penalties attributed to a violation of this act;

4. To recover reasonable expenses and investigation fees attributable to a violation of this act;

5. To prosecute any civil or criminal actions as provided by this act, as applicable; and

6. To revoke the registration of a charitable organization, professional fundraiser, or professional solicitor for any violation of this act.

C. In lieu of instigating or continuing an action or proceeding, the Attorney General or a district attorney may accept a consent judgment with respect to any act or practice declared to be a violation of this act. Such a consent judgment shall provide for the discontinuance by the person entering the same of any act or practice declared to be a violation of this act, and it may include a stipulation for the payment by such person of reasonable expenses, attorney fees, investigation costs and penalties incurred by the Attorney General or a district attorney. The consent judgment also may include a stipulation for restitution to be made by such person to contributors of money, property or other things received from contributors in connection with a violation of this act and also may include a stipulation for specific performance. Any consent judgment entered into pursuant to this section shall not be deemed to admit the violation, unless it does so by its terms. Before any consent judgment entered into pursuant to this section shall be effective, it must be approved by the district court and an entry made in the manner required for making an entry of judgment. After such approval is received, any breach of the conditions of such consent judgment shall be treated as a violation of a court order, and shall be subject to all the penalties provided by law therefor.

D. In any action brought by the Attorney General or a district attorney, the court may:

1. Make such orders or judgments as may be necessary to prevent the use or employment by a person of any practice declared to be a violation of this act;

2. Make such orders or judgments as may be necessary to compensate any person for damages sustained;

3. Enjoin any person from engaging in solicitation of charitable contributions in this state;

4. Revoke the registration of a charitable organization, professional fundraiser or professional solicitor;

5. Enter any order that is appropriate in a criminal prosecution of crimes identified in this act or any other state law; and

6. Grant other appropriate relief.

E. When an action is filed under this act by the Attorney General or a district attorney, no action seeking an injunction or declaratory judgment shall be filed in any other district in this state based upon the same transaction or occurrence, series of transactions or occurrences, or allegations that form the basis of the first action filed.

F. When the Attorney General or a district attorney has reason to believe that a person has engaged in, is engaging in or is about to engage in any practice declared to be in violation of this act and he or she believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether a person has in fact engaged in, is engaging in or is about to engage in any such practice, he or she may execute in writing and cause to be served upon any such person who is believed to have information, documentary material or physical evidence relevant to the alleged violation an investigative demand requiring such person to furnish, under oath or otherwise, a report in writing setting forth the nonprivileged relevant facts and circumstances of which the person has knowledge, or to appear and testify, or to produce relevant nonprivileged documentary material or physical evidence for examination at such reasonable time and place as may be stated in the investigative demand, concerning the solicitation of charitable contributions.

G. To accomplish the objectives and to carry out the duties prescribed by this act, the Attorney General or district attorney, in addition to other powers conferred on him or her by this act or the laws of this state, may issue subpoenas or other process to any person and conduct hearings in aid of any investigation or inquiry, administer oaths and take sworn statements under penalty of perjury, and serve and execute in any county, search warrants; provided, that none of the powers conferred by this act shall be used for the purpose of compelling any natural person to furnish testimony or evidence that might tend to incriminate him or her or subject him or her to a penalty; and provided further, that information obtained pursuant to the powers conferred by this act shall not be made public or disclosed by the Attorney General, district attorney or their employees unless otherwise provided under this act.

H. In addition to any other penalties provided under this act, a charitable organization, professional fundraiser, or professional solicitor that is found to be in violation of the Oklahoma Solicitation of Charitable Contributions Act in a civil action or who willfully violates the terms of any injunction or court order issued pursuant to the Oklahoma Solicitation of Charitable Contributions Act shall pay a civil penalty of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) per violation, taking into account the nature and severity of the violation and the benefit provided to the public by the violator, along with the need for protecting contributors and donors. For the purposes of this section, the district court issuing an injunction shall retain jurisdiction, and in such cases, the Attorney General, acting in the name of the state, or a district attorney may petition for recovery of civil penalties.

I. In administering and pursuing actions under this act, the Attorney General and a district attorney are authorized to sue for and collect reasonable expenses, attorney fees, and investigation fees as determined by the court. Civil penalties or contempt penalties sued for and recovered by the Attorney General or a district attorney shall be used for the furtherance of their duties and activities under this act.

J. In addition to other penalties imposed by this act, any person convicted in a criminal proceeding of committing an act prohibited in paragraph 1, 3 or 5 of subsection A of this section, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) or imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than five (5) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Added by Laws 2010, c. 460, § 9, eff. July 1, 2011.

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