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State Sues Charity For Alleged Misuse of Brain Research Money

December 1, 1992

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The state filed a lawsuit Monday against a charity that allegedly used donations meant for brain tumor research to pay for polo matches and to bring over Queen Elizabeth II’s milliner to judge a hat contest.

The lawsuit names as defendants the Trevor B. Ewing Memorial Foundation, Inc. and its president and director, Patricia Ewing, who started it after her son, Trevor, died of a brain tumor in 1990.

The state says the foundation collected at least $155,195 between August 1990 and March 1992. But the only money given to research was $5,000 from a corporate donor that went straight to Montefiore Hospital in New York, where Trevor Ewing was treated, state officials said.

″It’s unconscionable when charities prey on the good hearts of contributors,″ said Consumer Protection Commissioner Gloria Schaffer.

A message left by The Associated Press on Patricia Ewing’s answering machine in Old Greenwich was not immediately returned.

The alleged misuse of foundation money included $7,100 for two polo matches and luncheons; more than $8,000 for flowers and other decorations; $5,200 for photography and video services; and $648 to fly the Queen of England’s milliner from London to New York and back to judge ladies’ hats at a polo luncheon, the Attorney General’s office said.

The foundation also allegedly paid more than $8,100 for telephone bills in 1990 and 1991 and about $6,564 to reimburse Ms. Ewing, state officials said.

The foundation also paid about $2,800 for a home office for Ms. Ewing that included a $1,225 leather-topped desk; painting and wallpapering worth $850; a $225 light fixture and a $429 telephone, state officials said.

The state wants Ms. Ewing to return money spent on non-foundation purposes and to be removed from any office or association with the foundation.

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