Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Tuesday, January 23, 2001

CORNYN OBTAINS INJUNCTION AGAINST BOGUS CHARITY

Fraudulent Law Enforcement Publications, Owner Cited

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn obtained a $443,000 default judgment and permanent injunction against Houstonian Gerald Charles Gibbs, who fraudulently operated publications known as The State Trooper's Journal and Law Enforcement News.

The Attorney General's Office and the Harris County Attorney's Office teamed up last year to sue Gibbs and his former business partner, Anthony Marcel Harris. The 151st District Court of Harris County granted the state a final judgment against co-defendant Anthony Harris in the amount of $700,000, together with a permanent injunction, on Dec. 6.

Gibbs and Harris falsely represented to thousands of businesses across the nation that their publications benefitted local law enforcement. The pair were sued for allegedly telling contributing businesses that some of the money they collected was used to assist widows and orphans of slain law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

"This was a joint cooperative effort to put an end to bogus charities posing as legitimate law enforcement publications," said Attorney General John Cornyn. "We will not tolerate this type of fraud in the name of charity."

Law enforcement publications in Texas are required by law to register and post a bond with the Secretary of State, which Harris and Gibbs did not do. They were sued for violating the Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act and other statutes.

A permanent injunction against Gibbs was signed today by Judge Katie Kennedy, acting on behalf of the 151st District Court. The injunction prohibits him from operating such a telemarketing business in the future. The judgment also orders Gibbs to pay the state the sum of $383,000 in restitution, $50,000 in attorney fees, and $10,000 in civil fines and penalties.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General John Owens of the Houston Consumer Protection Office, and Assistant Harris County Attorney Robbie Clements.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Tom Kelley or Jane Dees at (512) 463-2050.
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