FundRunner Settlement Update

We are very pleased to be able to report to the SPARK community that after a nearly 2 year process, we have been able to recover $14,333 or 58% of PTO donations that were not delivered to SPARK by FundRunners in December 2015. SPARK parents have worked closely with the Atlanta Police Department, Fulton County, Cherokee County, the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, and other government agencies to attempt to recover the funds. Last week, the Securities and Charities Division of the Secretary of State’s office entered into a Consent Order with FundRunners and its principal, and assessed a $20,000 fine against FundRunners. The fine was distributed, pro rata, to the two Georgia schools that lost money.

Those involved in this process believe it to be the best possible outcome of this unfortunate incident, and we are pleased to have these funds. The attorney-parents involved in the recovery efforts believe that the only other possible action would have been a civil lawsuit against FundRunners. Such a lawsuit would require SPARK to front costs for filing fees, and other litigation related expenses, even though we may have been able to obtain pro bono representation. The lawsuit would have taken months, perhaps years, to resolve, and there is no guarantee of any actual recovery. Accepting the penalties assessed maximized real recovery of funds in the shortest amount of time.

There have been a number of SPARK parents and community members that have assisted over the last 2 years. The PTO boards for 2015 and 2016 were persistent in continuing to pursue recovery of the funds. Additionally, SPARK parents, Doug Brooks, Jenifer Keenan, and Dave Sirna, provided expert advice at critical points in the process. Doug Brooks went above and beyond at each step of the process and volunteered many hours to assist the PTO in this effort. Without Doug’s contributions, we would likely not have been able to recover what we have. If you see these outstanding SPARK parents around, please take a moment to appreciate them. We are very grateful for their leadership.

Please visit the Fun Run page for more background information.

Questions? Email Sara Zeigler.