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Q: Who to contact to initiate investigation of a fraudulent non-profit organization ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Who to contact to initiate investigation of a fraudulent non-profit organization
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: hobokenparking-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 01 Nov 2002 10:40 PST
Expires: 01 Dec 2002 10:40 PST
Question ID: 95600
There is a 'waterfront activist' group in Hoboken which is fairly well
known. Formerly it was known as the Coalition for a Better Waterfront,
but now is known as Fund for a Better Waterfront. At one time, this
was a legitimate organization made up of leading Hoboken citizens
working for a better waterfront here along the Hudson River. In the
past few years, it has been co-opted by one man, Ron Hine, who has
taken over the organization completely, although he continues to
portray it as a citizen group, and collects institutional and local
monies to continue the group's operation.

Recently I have been doing some preliminary investigation of Ron
Hine's activities. Hine has gone from a critic of waterfront
development to a steadfast supporter of Brownstone Properties, the
current owners of the old Maxwell House properties. There have been
some aspects of Hine's behavior over the past couple of years that
have been disturbing. Besides the shift from critic to supporter of a
single developer, Hine (according to my sources among Hine's inner
circle) had until recently been paying fines rather than turn what
should be routine financial documents over to the IRS. Then, Hine
closed CBW's books by suddenly and without explanation dissolving the

Financial documents, posted online at as required by
law, are spotty. The last posted documentation by Hine was in 2000,
and there are none before 1997 (although FBW was founded I believe in
1992). When CBW was still in existence, the very same years of
documents were posted - none before, none since. More to the point,
ALL the documents were made out completely by Hine and Hine alone, and
ALL the documents were filled out AT THE SAME TIME, on October 28,
2000. (By this I mean ALL CBW's as well as FBW's documents, although
since CBW no longer exists, those documents are missing altogether.)
These filings come right about the time that Hine found religion and
began his uncritical support of Brownstone. It is also around the time
Hine rid CBW/FBW of the last of his in-house critics.

Although FBW had an income of $70,000 in 2000, the site states that
'no further filings are needed' because FBW now makes less than
$25,000 per year. This is quite a drop-off in income, and suggests a
drop-off in income for Hine as well, since he drew nearly $20,000 in
salary from FBW in 2000 (when the CBW docs were still posted on the
site, I noted that he drew a similar salary from them as well, meaning
he drew a salary of around $40,000 or so from both groups each year...
not too bad for a citizen activist).

HIne's known (publicized) dealings with Brownstone have included a
deal giving him control of a 'public' park. It was obviously
questionable judgment, of course, for a 'watchdog' group to accept
compensation from a developer, and the public howled about it. Hine
has since claimed that the 'deal' is no longer in effect, but what is
important is that this is ONE deal we know of between Hine and
Brownstone. Therefore we know Brownstone was making deals with Hine,
the question is what arrangements between these parties are NOT public

We can be pretty certain that Hine has had problems dealing with the
IRS for one reason or another, and that Hine was paying fines rather
than turning in records for some period of time. We know that what
filings there are, are suspicious in nature and very incomplete. We
know that CBW's disappearance was sudden and unexplained. We know that
Hine's salary from the two organizations, according to his IRS
filings, have whittled away to nothing, and we do not know what
replaced them.

If Hine is in fact in the employ of Brownstone, it explains the
feverishness of his attacks on Stevens institute, which has a rival
plan including the expansion of park space, that is preferred by City
Hall. If Stevens plan were to go through, since Hine has no agreement
with them, he will lose his livelihood.

Stevens is reluctant to devote resources to investigate Hine's
background, since such an investigation could backfire on them and
seem self-serving. (They could look like a bully.) I think the public
deserves and needs to know if there is fire behind this smoke. CBW and
FBW's books are, theoretically, open to the public, and that would be
a place to start. 

Thank you,

Jeff Faria

Request for Question Clarification by darrel-ga on 01 Nov 2002 17:40 PST

Am I correct in assuming you're looking for information about which
agencies you might be able to contact in order to begin an
investigation into this organization? In which state is Hoboken?



Request for Question Clarification by aceresearcher-ga on 02 Nov 2002 07:03 PST

I recommend contacting the IRS' Fraud Division: once they get their
teeth in someone, they don't let go easily:,,id=100103,00.html

If you would like to find out about a number of different avenues to
pursue to have this person and organization investigated by as many
different means as possible, post a statement to that effect here, and
one of the Researchers will probably be glad to help you out.


Subject: Re: Who to contact to initiate investigation of a fraudulent non-profit organization
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 04 Nov 2002 13:32 PST
Hello hobokenparking~

There are a number of places that you can express concern about this
organization and the person running it. I would begin by contacting
your state's Attorney General. This site lists Attorney General's for
all U.S. states (scroll down to the bottom):

As does this site:

If the group is trying to collect money via letters, brochures, etc.,
sent via the U.S. Postal service, you can contact USPS about the
possibilities of fraud. See the USPS website for information on mail
fraud and a link to the proper form to fill out:

If you feel the organization is conducting fraudulent business through
their website, check out:

The form for reportage is found at: 

Another place to report fraud is at the IFCC (a partnership between
the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center): 

The National Fraud Organization may also be able to help:

Hope this helps,
Subject: Re: Who to contact to initiate investigation of a fraudulent non-profit organization
From: nellie_bly-ga on 02 Nov 2002 08:51 PST
I believe the Bergen Record would be interested in your research. 

Frank Scandale, Editor
The Record newsroom telephone number is:(201) 646-4100.  Ask to speak
to the managing editor.
Subject: Re: Who to contact to initiate investigation of a fraudulent non-profit organiza
From: hobokenparking-ga on 04 Nov 2002 13:02 PST
In response to Darrel-ga - yes, I am looking for as many options as is
possible in terms of inititaing an investigation of this matter.
Hoboken is in Hudson County, New Jersey. If you are a regular reader
of the New York Times, you may have noticed in the past week or so a
front-page article in the extraordinary amount of political corruption
now under official investigation in this area. (One of these
instances, not included in the Times list, is the investigation of a
construction scandal I myself  researched and publicized.) Because of
the sheer amount of this corruption, there is some difficulty in
gaining official attention for these matters. Hence I am reaching out
for new ideas. Already, in this instance, I have reached out to my
sources in City Hall, where I have some modest influence (I am a
marketing-advertising specialist, and my ad campaign helped flush the
previous City administration out of office.)

I wish to thank all respondents for their imput to date.

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