Professional Solicitor Faces Civil Penalties For Targeting Law Enforcement Organizations

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Secretary of State Tre Hargett would like to announce civil penalties totaling $57,500 have been imposed on an Arkansas-based solicitor who wrongly represented multiple Tennessee law enforcement organizations.

An anonymous tip sparked a year-long investigation showing, Gaylon Boshears of Little Rock, Ark., illegally operated the soliciting organization “Southern Sports & Events Marketing” across Tennessee. Boshears is also tied to “Arkansas Sports & Events Marketing” and “East Coast Marketing Group.”

The Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming found that Boshears, his organizations or agents working on his behalf, violated the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act by not registering as a solicitor, failing to file proper notices or financial reports and not producing documents requested by the Division.

“It is crucial that professional solicitors follow the law when raising money for non-profits in Tennessee. Proper disclosure ensures transparency,” said Secretary Tre Hargett. “Failure to abide by these rules means donations from hardworking Tennesseans may not end up where they were intended.”

Investigators found Southern Sports & Events Marketing engaged in at least seven unapproved charitable solicitation campaigns.

Boshears conducted two solicitations for the Hendon-McClanahan Lodge #54 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) based in Murfreesboro, Tenn. One was to promote and produce a basketball game between FOP members and Tennessee Titans Alumni at Siegel High School on November 8, 2014. The other event, “Titans Alumni Flag Football,” happened in 2013.

Boshears’ organizations held fundraising campaigns for the Columbia Police Explorers of Columbia, Tenn. between 2011 and 2014 called “Titans Flag Football,” “Comedy Magic Show” and “Comedy Hypnotic Show.”

Southern Sports & Events Marketing also held an event called “Titans Alumni Basketball” for the LaVergne Fraternal Order of Police of LaVergne, Tenn. in 2014.

It is important to note the Hendon-McClanahan Lodge #54 of the Fraternal Order of Police, Columbia Police Explorers and LaVergne Fraternal Order of Police did nothing wrong in the hiring of Boshears or his organizations as professional fundraisers.

Boshears has previously paid a civil penalty assessed for similar practices, and could be responsible for representing other law enforcement organizations across the state.

Anyone with information about this or other cases should contact the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming at (615) 741-2555 or 1-800-861-7393.