By Elizabeth Barber
November 25, 2014

A Seattle-area based chain of thrift stores may have pocketed more than $1 million designated for charities.

Minnesota’s attorney general, Lori Swanson, has accused Savers Thrift Stores of putting almost all the donations it collected from customers into its own coffers, rather than forwarding the sums to the charities with which it had contracts, including Vietnam Veterans of America, The New York Times reports.

Swanson also blamed the charities for failing to properly oversee their relationship with Savers, citing the organizations’ responsibility to be vigilant and catch such alleged duplicitousness.

Savers, which operates more than 300 stores in more than two dozen states, said in an email to the New York Times that the company “remains dedicated to working openly, honestly and transparently with all of our nonprofit partners.”

One of the charities that have contracts with Savers also reiterated its commitment to integrity and told the Times that its relationship with the thrift store was under review.

Minnesota has given Savers and the charities 45 days to propose a solution, after which time Swanson could bring civil suits against them. The matter has also been referred to attorneys general in other states.

Read more at the New York Times

Write to Elizabeth Barber at elizabeth.barber@timeasia.com.

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