COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Eight fake charities in Ohio took advantage of names similar to real ones for five people to profit off donations, Attorney General Dave Yost said Thursday.

Among the false nonprofits were seven using “cancer” in their name, as well as one charity that directly took the name of another well-known organization.

In a final judgment in the case, Franklin County Common Pleas judge ordered Ian Hosang, Jomar Holmes, Rhett McIntosh, Judith Culzac and Claudia Stephen to pay $190,000 in civil penalties. Yost said the judge also banned them from associating with any charity, and they won’t be allowed to incorporate, organize or serve in any fiduciary capacity for any charitable organization in the future.

The $190,000 fine breaks down as holding liable both the incorporated fake charities and the defendants behind them. The judge required all eight nonprofits to pay $10,000 each to Yost’s office, but the five people involved had varying penalties:

  • Hosang was ordered to pay $40,000
  • Stephen was ordered to pay $30,000
  • Culzac was ordered to pay $30,000
  • McIntosh was ordered to pay $5,000
  • Holmes was ordered to pay $5,000

Among the group behind the fake charities, Hosang also has pending litigation against him in Michigan, Washington, New York and other states where he set up dozens of similar nonprofit scams.

As part of the lawsuit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, the judge ordered the articles of incorporation be canceled for the eight charities formed by the group. These had no affiliation with nonprofits like the American Cancer Society or United Way, but used similar names to draw donations:

  • American Cancer Society of Ohio Inc.
  • American Cancer Society of Cincinnati Inc.
  • American Cancer Society of Cleveland Inc.
  • American Cancer Foundation of Columbus Inc.
  • American Cancer Foundation of Ohio Inc.
  • American Cancer Foundation of Cincinnati Inc.
  • American Cancer Foundation of Cleveland Inc.
  • United Way of Ohio Inc.

To research where a contribution goes when sending money to a charity in the state, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office said Ohioans can use the online tools on its website.