by Mary Beerworth
Executive Director, Vermont Right to Life.
Vermont Right to Life Treasurer Aids Investigation Leading to Arrests in National Scam - Huge Victory for the Unborn and Pro-Life Groups Nationwide
When Vermont Right to Life Treasurer, Sharon Toborg, received a telemarketing phone call at her home urging her to help end abortion, she looked into the organization making the request. But Toborg, who has been affiliated in several capacities with VRLC for over 30 years, had never heard of the “National Campaign” organization to which she was being asked to donate. As she started researching the group her worst suspicions were confirmed.
Toborg discovered that, according to Federal Election Commission filings, the organization was pulling in millions of dollars to supposedly promote pro-life causes, but it appeared to her that they were mostly paying some businesses. Toborg warned VRLC members not to donate to the fake organization and emphasized that Vermont Right to Life has not solicited funds by telephone for years, and her warning went national when it was picked up by a national pro-life news service.
She also requested that those who received a letter or a pledge card from National Campaign PAC send a copy to VRLC to help her further investigate. Letters and pledge forms came in from around the country and Sharon kept them on file.
As a result, Sharon Toborg was able to assist investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Southern District of New York looking into criminal and fraudulent activity by the phony group. On May 17th, those same investigators called Sharon to let her know that arrests had been made in the case.
Two Arizona men have been charged in Manhattan Federal Court with fraud and money laundering, allegedly defrauding donors of more than $23 million in a scheme that involved numerous scam political action committees – one of them being the “National Campaign PAC.” As investigators noted in their complaint:
The National Campaign PAC...asserted that its "mission is to save unborn babies from abortion" and that its goal was to "change hearts, change leaders and change laws until the day arrives when every child is welcomed into life and protected by law." It solicited donations, by phone and mail, under the "project" name of the "Pro-Life Committee."
Note: The situation is a timely reminder to be sure you know the organization before sending out donations. And, thanks to Sharon Toborg, this is also a victory for the unborn and the legitimate organizations who work tirelessly to save them.