A Denver-area fundraiser for cancer victims is heading for jail today for alleged charitable fraud.
Rock! founder Adam Cole Shryock faces two weeks in the Denver County
Jail for contempt of court after the Colorado attorney general's office
alleged he and his companies committed charitable fraud, using models to
sell merchandise to raise money for college scholarships.
violates a court order imposed last year stemming from alleged fraud in
raising money nationally that was intended for cancer organizations. At
a hearing this month, a Denver judge found Shryock violated an injunction prohibiting him from selling merchandise, collecting money or promoting events on behalf of any organization representing itself as a charity.
The case drew fresh rounds of wrath on Twitter Friday from cancer victims and those duped by his charitable organizations.
Shryock, a Castle Rock resident, agreed to shutter Boobies Rock! last summer. However,
in August, Shryock embarked on a new charity-based scheme that
directly violated the injunction, the attorney general's office said.
the name I Heart This Bar, Shryock hired promotional managers and
models to sell merchandise at college football tailgate parties and bars
across the country, according to a 2013 complaint that charged Shryock
with violating state solicitation and consumer protection laws.
walked around stadium parking lots telling customers they were selling
merchandise to raise money for a college 'scholarship fund,' '' Attorney
General John Suthers said. "In reality, the 'scholarship fund' was
nothing more than a cash bonus for the promotional managers, and the
entire scheme ran afoul of the court's orders.''
Promotional managers were told they would get $7,500 bonuses if they outsold other managers.
Shryock's organizations sold T-shirts and bracelets. Models were told
to approach customers and say they were taking donations rather than
selling merchandise, according to the complaint filed by Suthers'
office. The complaint alleged that models were told 40% to 90% of the
money was to go to charity. Minimal amounts actually went to charitable
A Wells Fargo bank account
controlled by a company started by Shryock took in nearly $1.1 million.
Shryock allegedly took money from the account to pay restaurant bills
and dating services and to purchase a BMW, according to the complaint.
entered the Denver County Jail today to begin his 14-day sentence, says
Carolyn Tyler, spokeswoman for the Colorado attorney general's office
fraud is "particularly pernicious," Tyler says, because "it involves
two victims: the person who donates the money and who was scammed, and
it means that a legitimate charity doesn't receive a legitimate
The advocacy group Breast Cancer Action coordinates a
long-running Think Before You Pink campaign, urging consumers to think
carefully about how their donations are used. Not all charities or
fundraisers are equally deserving, says executive director Karuna
"The popularity and success of breast cancer fundraising makes it an especially attractive area for possible fraud,"Jaggar says.
group suggests that consumers ask themselves these questions before
donating: Does any money go to a charity-and if so how much? Is that
enough, or are you better off donating directly to the charities you
think are important? Which organizations will get the money and what
will they do with the funds? Are these programs that you want to
support? Does the product being sold contribute to the very problem it
says it is attempting to solve, such as through the use of toxic
Boobies Rock! is also under investigation in Indiana and Illinois.