Up to 29 NGOs to be sent to the LA Office of Debt Recovery - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Up to 29 NGOs to be sent to the LA Office of Debt Recovery on Thursday

Updated:

New Orleans, La.- More than a million dollars is on the line for 29 non-governmental organizations that have yet to get the proper paperwork to the State Treasury Department. Even with multiple warning letters, some organizations have not even contacted the state, and they could be sent to the Office of Debt Recovery as early as Thursday.

It's money that was supposed to help non-governmental organizations support the community. Programs that have received money include those that help families find housing and rescue animals.

Between $2,000 and up to $600,000 was awarded to individual groups. The organizations had to turn in paperwork four times a year explaining how they were using the money.

After more than a month of reminder letters, 29 organizations still have not turned in the proper paperwork, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy.

"I'm very surprised, and I'm very disappointed, and I'm very suspicious," said Kennedy. "I don't want to be that way, but again this is taxpayer money and we're not asking for anything unreasonable."

Some groups have been working with treasury staff over the past month to try to get in compliance before the deadline, such as the Children of the Village Foundation on Broad Street in New Orleans. The organization helps kids make movies and record music out of a garage.

The president of the group, Betty Washington, told Fox 8 News by phone that her group received the $10,000 back in 2008, and she didn't realize the state couldn't find her complete paperwork until this month when treasury department staff contacted her.

However, 15 organizations state wide haven't even made contact with the state.

"Some of these NGOs I have been begging for this documentation for 5 years. They have ignored me," said Kennedy.

Kids Coupes Inc. lists it's address as a 2nd floor apartment in an apartment complex in River Ridge.

Fox 8 News reached a woman who lives in the apartment by phone. She told Fox 8 News she receives Kids Coupes mail on occasion, but she has never heard of the organization.

Rodney Wooten is listed in several places online as the president of Kids Coupes Inc., an organization dedicated to educational "camp fires," but Wooten couldn't be reached.

Kids Coupes Inc. has received a total of $140-thousand dollars from the government.

It's money that Treasurer Kennedy says could be well spent by more responsible groups. So, as soon as the deadline passes, he'll send a list of non-compliant groups to the new Office of Debt Recovery to get the money back.

"If they don't have the money, some of them used the money to build buildings, I'm going to ask that we seize those buildings," said Kennedy.

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