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I don't have time to sit down and write a blog post about this right now, which I normally do to address issues that pop up in the fandom. Instead here's the summary in thread form:

1. Capital City Fur Con, a convention in Harrisburg, PA, folded yesterday. /1
2. Immediately on folding, former staff asked for proof the charity donations had been made.

3. The Con posted a screenshot of a receipt showing a $217.00 donation to the ALS charity, which was later confirmed to have been the charity from a single panel that fursuit creator .2
Made Fur You sent to the charity directly.

4. The con was questioned about this receipt, which contained the personally identifiable information of the Made Fur You party that made the donation.

5. The receipt was deleted, and folks continued to question. /3
6. The con and its chairman nuked everything.

Now here's where it gets interesting. @dixielioness , who compiles the annual "charity from conventions" numbers for those neat videos, has stated she believes the chair advised her the con raised $4,000 for charity. /4
With all of the accounts nuked, she's gone over to Twitter to request they send her an archived copy of the chat where this was advised.

On the Thursday prior to the Con, the con suddenly cancelled a number of panels. /5
Although not in attendance, I knew at the time it was because the con had failed to pay the hotel roughly $15k. I know this because several people started asking me about it, sending me images of an internal chat where it was being discussed. This did not bode well. /6
It boded so well that one of their guests, who I'm friends with, and I had an "emergency plan" whereby I was on call to come get them if the con collapsed while they were there. /7
The same guest who would later tell me they had been told the con MAY dip into charity funds to pay bills. I wasn't there. I don't know if that happened, but I trust the source. /8
The guest apparently told the con that was a horrible idea and should not be done.

Likewise, the guest was never actually reimbursed their airfare, something they were willing to eat for the good of the charity. /9
NOW, here's where I disclaim things: I wasn't there, I don't know what happened, but the folks I talked to on it are folks I TRUST who had messaged me throughout the weekend with issues while publicly putting on a VERY supportive face. They have nothing to gain here. /10
And HERE'S where all of that makes sense:

If I was presenting this in court, I would frame it as "This convention, didn't have the ability to meet their contract and expressed an intention to use charitable donations to con bills, and can't account for the money it collected."
And that matters, because Title 18 Pa.C.S. 3922 makes theft by deception a crime, defining it as the obtaining of property of another by deceiving people as to, as one element, the intent behind the taking. /11
BUT that's not the end of it.

PA has a specific crime called "Charity Fraud" as set forth in 10. P.S. 162.1 et seq, specifically the portion located at 10 P.S. 162.15, which bars the use of deceptive conduct in soliciting charity donations. /12
As well as 10 P.S. 162.21 which creates a fiduciary duty (a position of trust) in any person that solicits those funds - a requirement that they be held responsible for the same. /13
And 10 P.S. 162.18, creating criminal penalties up to a misdemeanor in the first degree when someone "willfully and knowingly violates any provisions of this act with intent to deceive or defraud any charity or individual," punishable by a $10K fine or 5 years imprisonment. /14
And that's for charity fraud. For the "theft" statutes if applicable, taking in excess of $2,000 intentionally and by deception is a Felony of the Third Degree in Pennsylvania. /15
So, if Bob forms a charitable organization (which Capital City Fur Con IS registered as with the Commonwealth of PA, but not with the IRS) and solicits funds saying "I will give them to X charity" but keeps the funds, and knows he will be keeping the funds... /16
...Well, depending on specifics, that could fall under either of the two provisions mentioned about - Theft by Deception OR violations of the Charities Act. And THAT opens someone up to the possibility of criminal prosecution. /17
And...well...PA DA's WILL PROSECUTE if they decide they have a case. There are plenty of "GoFundMe" and "WePay" charity cases where person A sets up a fund for person B, then never gives Person B the money. They do get prosecuted. /18
BUT MORE THAN THAT is another consideration: The investigation ISN'T just "a local DA."

In Pennsylvania, you know who investigates potential claims of violations of the charity act?

The Attorney General of the Commonwealth. They have a whole DEPARTMENT to do this. /19
AND as a PA registered charitable organization, the group falls within the Investigation/Audit authority of the Pennsylvania Department of State Charities Division as well.

In short, IF someone made a "fucky wucky" it wasn't a "widdle" one. It was a MASSIVE fucky wucky. Like Bad Dragon levels of fucky wuckiness

BUT We do not know, and if the people in crosshairs are smart THEY WILL NOT say anything without talking to an attorney. /21
And an attorney will tell them to gather -every goddamn record related to finance and charity money- and get it organized to show the funds were properly appropriated. /22
I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH how bad of an idea it would be for the person(s) responsible to "take to the internet" to defend themselves right now. Statements made online ARE admissible, they CAN be used. That would all around be a BAD IDEA. /23
As to the "instant nuking" of all accounts...that's a topic for later, but it pulls into the concepts of spoliation (destruction/failure to maintain evidence once someone is aware of the need to maintain) and destruction of evidence (fun charge) - and negative inferences. /24
All that said, though, I gotta go to work on actual paying cases today. Let's reconvene later, okay?
Actually, one last note:


I go out of pocket to travel to cons and raise money for charities. Fuck anyone that takes food out of a charity's mouth.

The performers who travel to a LOT of cons? We smile and nod publicly then get together privately and talk about the absolute shitstorms. We do this so as not to harm a con that may be having growing pains.

But you better believe WE TALK.
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