Georgia Authorities Indict 14 Individuals for Running a Sham Charity
Georgia Peach Youth Club of America Inc. received its tax-exempt status in 2016, per GuideStar, with a mission of providing anti-violence and anti-drug programming for teens, according to a 15-count grand jury indictment filed on Monday.
Georgia’s attorney general is alleging charity fraud and claiming the nonprofit was run by a subset of a well-known Los Angeles street gang, using the charity as human trafficking ring from Oct. 1, 2017 through May 12, 2021.
“We will charge gang members who try to exploit our children in order to further their criminal enterprise,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “We will not tolerate it, and we look forward to presenting our case in court.”
GuideStar listed the principal officer for Georgia Peach Youth Club of America Inc. as Jamainne Hall, who was charged with charity fraud and racketeering as well as multiple counts of human trafficking, violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act and money laundering. He and he 13 codefendants could face up to 186 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Authorities alleged the 14 defendants recruited children, according to the indictment, by promoting youth trips on posters throughout Atlanta as well as by word of mouth and on its website, which is now listed as “expired,” though the nonprofit’s social media presence remains active with posts as recently as May. Those now charged in the case supposedly picked up recruited teens, driving them to locations where they could request donations to the organization in exchange for candy and other food items—either door-to-door in residential areas or in front of a business — and sometimes leaving them unsupervised for hours. The teens were allegedly promised trips and prizes that were dependent on fundraising sales.
Since the compensation never materialized, authorities alleged the defendants trafficked the minors and instead laundered the money from the charity to fund gang activity for Nine Trey Bloods, a subset of Los Angeles’ United Blood Nation.
The Charities Division of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office referred the case to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and assisted in the investigation.