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Lisa Madigan

Telemarketers keep dollars raised for charity

Telemarketers keep dollars raised for charity

In a faded brown brick building on the Far Northwest Side, minimum-wage workers reading from scripts asked ordinary Americans to help heal war-torn veterans, equip cops with bulletproof vests and fulfill the wishes of ailing children. Their pleas brought donations pouring into the call center and a handful of others in the Chicago area run by Safety Publications Inc., a for-profit telemarketer that told Illinois authorities it raised $4.9 million for U.S. charities from 2008 through 2014. But if people asked what percentage of the money actually went to a charity, "we would basically just say we didn't know. 'I don't have that information available,'" said...

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