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Thursday, March 19, 2020

“UNFORTUNATELY, NEITHER ORGANIZATION IS REGISTERED IN MICHIGAN TO SOLICIT FOR DONATIONS.” Michigan Department of Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Section Confirms “TCAPS Transparency In Education”, “TCAPS Transparency For Truth & Accountability” Lack Registration Required To Solicit Donations In Michigan; Apparent Charitable Solicitation Fraud Reported To Michigan AG's Office For Investigation

On November 8, 2019, I broke the news that TCAPS Transparency In Education was soliciting funds without the license required by the Michigan Attorney General's Charitable Trust Section. 

As a nonprofit corporation, formed October 23, 2019 ostensibly to “promote and foster transparency within TCAPS”, it was required to comply with the state's Charitable Solicitation Act and register before rattling the tin cup. 

Yesterday, the Michigan Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Section confirmed in an email to me that another “transparency” entity (TCAPS Transparency for Truth & Accountability, formed February 26, 2020 and available online at TCAPS Truth) is also unregistered and illegally soliciting donations. TCAPS Transparency in Education, still actively soliciting donations via a PayPal link, remains in violation of Michigan laws governing solicitation of donations.

Even my public exposé, preceded by a lengthy email exchange with Thomas Grigal, a Traverse City resident who submitted the documentation to form “TCAPS Transparency In Education” and registered its domain name, didn't result in compliance.

(Here's where the film version of this story would pause for dramatic irony.).

In Michigan, nonprofits are licensed by the Michigan Attorney General and must comply and register under the Charitable Solicitation Act. If unregistered, an organization and those involved in fundraising activities could face fines and criminal punishment under amendments to the Act that were approved in December 2010 and which took effect on March 30, 2011.

On October 28, 2019, in an effort to seek answers, I emailed Thomas Grigal, and posed these questions: 

(1) The site is actively soliciting donations for the group, but as of this morning, the Michigan Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Section has no record of document submissions required before a nonprofit is allowed to solicit donations under the name “TCAPS Transparency In Education”. 

Have you, as the nonprofit’s Registered Agent, or another representative of the nonprofit, filed either a “Initial Solicitation Form” or a “Request For Exemption” form? 

If so, when were they filed? If not, when will they be filed? 

(2) Have you, as the Registered Agent, or another representative of the nonprofit, filed an application with the IRS for an employee registration number (EIN) for the nonprofit? 

If so, please provide the number issued by the IRS. If not, when will an application be filed? 

In a response sent later that same day, Grigal stated that TCAPS Transparency was “newly established and we are building the framework at the moment. We will certainly pass this email on to our attorney to make sure we are in full compliance, something we care greatly about.” 

After trading several more emails with Grigal, I received an email from him on October 31, 2019 stating “the compliance stuff” was in progress and that “we are waiting for docs to be received from state/federal folks.” 

It appears that assertion was untrue.

And the not-so-transparent TCAPS “transparency” movement is growing, with the addition of TCAPS Transparency For Truth & Accountability, a Michigan nonprofit corporation registered February 26, 2020 by attorney Andrew Shotwell.

The domain name, tcapstruth.com, was registered on February 21, 2020. 

A WHOIS check revealed the registrant was Michigan-based Reach Marketing. (A Michigan business entity search revealed two corporations with that name, one based in Flint and the other in Traverse City: an Assumed Name registered by Patricia Henkel on September 18, 2009 under a Domestic Profit Corporation later dissolved on July 15, 2016.) 

TCAPS Truth, in direct violation of Michigan's Charitable Solicitations Act requiring a license from the Michigan Attorney General's Office, is also actively soliciting donations, partly via a GoFundMe campaign, and requesting checks be sent to a residential address—an Old Mission Peninsula home owned by Henkel and her husband, Jeff.

Although fundraising on crowfunding platforms, like the TCAPS Truth GoFundMe campaign organized by Team5 TCAPS loser candidate Dayer Jamil, may be perceived as a work-around, Michigan's legal definition of “solicitation for charitable purposes” would likely require a nonprofit to register with the Michigan Attorney General's Charitable Trust Division. 


The TCAPS transparency conspiracy industrial complex is putting on a good show, with Team5 TCAPS loser candidate Dayer Jamil razzle-dazzling the rubes with her “investigation”, like a half-assed game of “Clue”.

For example, Traverse City resident Kelly Spalding Hall had to take to Facebook to publicly deny Jamil's accusation that she was the source of the Open Meetings Act complaint against the Old Mission Peninsula's self-styled Dear Lady of Snit, Erica Moon Mohr.

I used to wonder why this insular, insufferable crowd didn't respond as feverishly to the multi-million dollar looting of the Grand Traverse Academy by Steven Ingersoll, still reverberating today in the Mark Noss/Full Spectrum Management bankruptcy case spectacle, as it has to this “tempest in a TCAPS”.

Until today: while Jamil had been a licensed attorney in California and Illinois, and Henkel earned a law degree, they're just not smart enough.

(PS: The TCAPS Transparency For A Better Board self-described non-partisan political action committee doesn't appear in the Michigan Secretary of State database.)

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