NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Connecticut’s attorney general has joined Tennessee authorities in investigating the 26.4.26 Foundation and its founder Robbie Bruce.
In a letter to Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper, Connecticut’s Attorney General George Jepsen said his office is offering any assistance they need in to account for all the money raised for Sandy Hook victims.
“My office has made every effort to identify and account for all funds raised for Sandy Hook shooting victims and for the Newtown-Sandy Hook community that was traumatically affected by that tragedy,” Jepsen wrote.
In his letter he also asked for help locating Bruce.
News 2 has left multiple messages on Bruce’s voicemail, went to his last known address and has spoken to someone close to him who would not agree to pass on our messages for comment.
The Tennessee attorney general’s office said their investigation into the foundation is ongoing.
“It is unthinkable that anyone would attempt to profit from the Sandy Hook tragedy and ultimately cause more pain for the families,” Cooper’s office wrote in an email to News 2. “Charities are supposed to help the community, not prey on it.”
According to the attorney general’s office, Tennessee law provides serious civil as well as criminal penalties when charities do not honor their promise to donors.
“Anyone with information or who has had contact with Mr. Bruce or the foundation should contact the office of the Tennessee attorney general,” the statement continued.
Ryan Graney, a former member of the board of directors for the foundation, filed the initial complaint with the Tennessee attorney general’s office.
Graney said she questioned Bruce about some purchases he made from the foundation PayPal account, but Bruce would not explain where the money went.
“I am very disappointed,” she said. “A lot of people put in a lot of hard work into this.”
She continued, “It’s just disappointing not to see the outcome of that work.”
Graney said she was witnessed the initial donation of $30,000 to the Newtown Youth Academy, but did not know of any other donations from the foundation.
“We did it right with that first run,” she said. “We took the money, we got into our cars and we drove the 14 hours from here to Newtown and donated the $30,000 to the Newtown Youth Academy.”
While the Tennessee attorney general’s office would not comment specifically on the investigation into the 26.4.26 Foundation they would address the general process for how a nonprofit complaint is handled.
According to the office, the complaint is reviewed and that review can include referrals to other agencies and departments or even other states if it is not a Tennessee non-profit.
After the review, more information may be requested to determine what, if any, action is merited.
The office would not say at what part of the process the complaint against the 26.4.26 Foundation is at right now.
The 26.4.26 Foundation Web site is now inactive and the Facebook page has not been active since December 20.