First report: Kars4Kids has spoken with Matzav.com in response to the December 12 article in the Newark Star Ledger that suggests that Kars4Kids or any of its related charities have been involved in financial misdeeds, including money laundering or other illegal practices. Not only are any such suggestions completely false, says Kars4Kids, but the newspaper report is based on unjustified accusations in court papers from a court case that has nothing at all to do with Kars4Kids. Those papers do make serious accusations against a number of charities involving millions of dollars, but Kars4Kids is not one of them.
The article states at the very beginning that “At issue are millions in payments to Kars4Kids and more than 60 other registered charities.” This is completely misleading. No one – not even the lawyers who made the original claims – has ever said that “millions” of dollars having anything to do with Eliyahu Weinstein have ever been paid by, through or to Kars4Kids. (In fact, Mr. Weinstein has never even donated to Kars4Kids.) Of all the transactions involving Kars4Kids that the lawyer in question claimed “carry the scent of money laundering,” despite the impression left by the newspaper article, Kars4Kids is not one of them.
Kars4Kids tells us:
“In fact, the same lawyer who made these claims filed an extensive list in court detailing the ‘millions of dollars’ he thinks may be money laundering, down to the penny. Anyone can download this list from the Internet. It names every one of the 68 Jewish charities he is accusing of possible involvement in this crime and the specific amounts involved. Kars4Kids is not one of them.
The Star Ledger chose to write about the ‘local angle’ – a New Jersey charity whose name people recognize because of its success. The magnetism of such a story to its readers, when mixed with the ‘religious wrongdoers’ claims, was raw meat to the newspaper. It was prepared to publish this story no matter how desperately it had to cut and paste unconnected ‘facts’ or even unconnected accusations. There are serious accusations against charities in this lawsuit, but Kars4Kids is not one of them.”
So what is the Kars4Kids “connection”?
Kars4Kids explains: “A few years ago, Kars4Kids was involved with a single transaction with a third party. That third party, in turn, conveyed money to the defendant in that lawsuit, Eliyahu Weinstein, with no direct involvement of Kars4Kids. Two years prior, Oorah, Inc., a related charity, exchanged its old office 421 West County Line Road for the office building located next door to its current headquarters at 1785 Swarthmore. The lawyer involved in the present Weinstein litigation, seeing the name of Kars4Kids in banking records produced in the case, served Kars4Kids with a subpoena so he could satisfy his clients that nothing ‘went on’ with Kars4Kids and his client’s money. We resisted the subpoena at first because it was unnecessarily invasive and broad. Our charity has nothing to hide, but is obligated to protect its donors privacy and its own private information. We filed a motion in that court to quash the subpoena and eventually worked out a friendly agreement to give them what they needed to go on with their case. That litigation is going on and involves a large number of accusations, suspected transactions and defendants. Kars4Kids is not one of them!”
Kars4Kids concludes: “Kars4Kids is the real deal. We have nothing to hide and because the public has supported our programs so generously we have no need to make money the dishonest way and never have. There are lots of negative stories out there, unfortunately, that put Klal Yisroel in a bad light, and a lot of people and institutions that bear great guilt for causing chillul Hashem by their actions. Kars4Kids is not one of them.”