China investigates million-dollar fraud in children's charity foundation

Li Jiaohao
The Ministry of Civil Affairs has imposed an administrative penalty on the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children, suspending its activities for three months.
Li Jiaohao

A staff member of a charity defrauding nearly 10 million yuan (US$1.4 million) from the parents of sick children has been put under police custody, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Tuesday.

A man surnamed Ke, who had once received funds from the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children as a parent of a sick child, had been working at the Langfang Relief Station, in north China, for the charity's signature program, an emergency aid project for children's diseases called "9958," which sounds like "save me" when read in Chinese, since November 2022.

Between June and August 2023, Ke privately raised funds from the parents of sick children in the name of the project, defrauding them of nearly 10 million yuan, the ministry said in a statement.

Ke was placed under police control due to suspicion of fraud in September 2023. Currently, the case has been transferred to the judicial authorities.

Further investigation of the foundation also uncovered illegal acts such as conducting activities outside its prescribed business scope and failing to fulfill its information disclosure obligations according to the law.

The ministry has imposed a three-month ban on the charity's operations and put it on the blacklist of social organizations with serious illegal acts and dishonesty.

The deputy secretary-general of the foundation and the person in charge of the "9958" project, a man surnamed Wang, has been transferred to the judicial authorities for suspected duty-related crimes, the ministry statement said.

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