August 22, 2006
A fundraiser circulating in the area is supposed to benefit victims of a tragic accident, but one of those victims says he doesn't know anything about it or who's getting the money.
12 On Your Side's Ryan Duffy investigates a risky raffle.
A flyer for a fundraiser drawing to win an RV is being distributed in Graniteville and Aiken.
While it says it's to raise money for victims of a 2003 chemical exposure accident, one of those victims says he isn't so sure who the fundraiser really benefits.
Gene Cowger was one of the victims of the chemical exposure while on the job at a construction project in Charleston.
He says he and five other employees of a company called Wyatt and Wyatt out of Aiken County were injured.
But he had no clue of a fundraiser until a friend saw one of the fliers.
"I was very suspicious about it, and I wanted to get it investigated to find out what was going on with that," he said.
So 12 On Your Side investigated. We found that the fundraiser is being organized by Paul Wyatt, Gene's employer at the time of the chemical exposure.
The secretary of state's office says there is no record of Mr. Wyatt being registered as a charitable organization...and running a raffle or any contest that is like a raffle is illegal for anyone--even charities.
While this flyer doesn't say the word raffle specifically, Mr. Wyatt did tell us there would be a drawing out of everyone who purchased a ticket to win the RV, which would make it a raffle.