JEFFERSON CITY – A law enforcement charity has welcomed an infusion of monies following the shuttering of a sham fundraising operation.
But the $100,000 disbursed from the operations of the Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation (DPSF) is only a fraction of the amount of money raised over the years by the supposed charity and its Missouri-based founder, David Kenik.
Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), a national charity headquartered in Camdenton, will receive the money following a court-approved settlement between the DPSF, Attorney General Eric Schmitt and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt | twitter.com/AGEricSchmitt
Kenik, who lives in Ste. Genevieve County and describes himself as the executive director of the Police Officers Safety Association on his LinkedIn page, is already barred from soliciting any charitable contributions under the settlement.
While the settlement was for close to $10 million, the bulk was suspended because of Kenik's inability to pay.
"C.O.P.S. is grateful to be a recipient of the funds from the state of Missouri," the organization's executive director, Dianne Bernhard, said. "This money will directly affect the healing programs we offer to America's surviving law enforcement families. We offer our programs free of charge, as the price they have paid is already too high."
In a statement issued June 5, Schmitt said it is "unconscionable that Kenik and his organization took money from well-intentioned people to line his and his fundraisers’ pockets instead of helping families of disabled and fallen law enforcement officers."
He added, "With this settlement, we will redirect donations to an organization that is actually supporting the family members and coworkers of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our communities."
In its report on the activities of Kenik and his organization from 2013 through 2016, the FTC stated that for every $100 donated to the supposed charity, $5.41 went to programs.
DPSF reported pulled in $1.52 million in 2013, $1.36 million in 2014, $1.52 million in 2015, and $3.06 million in 2016. Just over $300,000 went to charitable programs.
The FTC reported that Kenik and his organization falsely claimed that donations would help officers and families of slain officers, provide life-saving equipment and training to law enforcement agencies.