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State sues unregistered animal charity

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The state has filed a lawsuit against a Big Island man, saying he is illegally seeking donations on the Internet for the care of animals and “other humane purposes.”

Attorney General David Louie said an organization called Love the Animals, operated by Anthony M. Marasia of Honomu, is not registered as a state charitable organization nor is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization.

All money donated through the Internet was deposited into Marasia’s personal bank account, a news release from the attorney general’s office said. Marasia cannot account for expenditures of the money for humane purposes, the statement said.

The state filed the lawsuit Tuesday, following a five-month investigation.

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