J & I Advisory Support, LLC of Nashville faces a $247,500 civil penalty for violating the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act multiple times.
Investigators with the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming received a complaint in April 2014 from someone who made a donation of clothing and household items to The Arc of Davidson County. It was the complainant’s belief that the donations would go to help people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, which is The Arc’s mission.
While shopping at the Southern Thrift Store on Charlotte Avenue in Nashville the complainant noticed items for sale that they had donated to The Arc. They stated if they had known the items would end up in a retail store they would not have been donated.
Investigators found J & I Advisory has a longstanding agreement to collect clothing and household items from counties across Middle Tennessee, and deliver them directly to Southern Thrift Stores. It then pays The Arc a commission on what is collected.
The same entity that owns J & I Advisory also owns B & R Salvage. The companies share the same facility on South 6th Street in Nashville. B & R Salvage owns the Southern Thrift Store on Charlotte Avenue, as well as three other Nashville area locations.
Investigators found J & I Advisory used false, misleading or deceptive practices with its direct mail, at least 14 telemarketers, 15 trucks as well as 53 collection bins throughout Middle Tennessee without properly disclosing they are a paid solicitor working on The Arc’s behalf.
J & I Advisory also failed to file appropriate notice and other filings about the 2014 solicitation campaign.
“Ensuring that professional solicitors follow the law means Tennesseans will know exactly where their charitable donations are going and who they benefit,” said Secretary Hargett.
J & I Advisory Support, LLC is a registered solicitor in the state of Tennessee, and company officials have been responsive and forthcoming with Division investigators.
It’s important to note The Arc of Davidson County is a registered charity in the state of Tennessee, and is not in violation related to this investigation. The Arc discloses its relationship with J & I Advisory on its website (http://www.arcdc.org/pick-up-service/).