Foundation denies using donations to buy property

BENDING THE RULES: The Genesis Social Welfare Foundation founder says he bought land under his name because it was illegal for the foundation to acquire land

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Fri, Dec 26, 2008 - Page 4

The founder of a local charity dedicated to caring for people in a vegetative state denied on Wednesday that he used donations to buy land for himself.

Cao Ching (曹慶), founder of the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation, said he did buy land in Miaoli County under his own name with foundation funds, but said he did so only to sidestep legal limitations.

Cao said the land consists of 19 plots, including one of two fields that according to the law cannot be sold to any legal entity such as his foundation.

In order to acquire the land for Genesis, Cao said he bought it and entrusted its ownership to his foundation, thereby stripping himself of the right to dispose of it.

He said he had explained this to Next Magazine but could not stop it from publishing a story earlier that day accusing him of misappropriating the foundation’s funds.

Cao said the Genesis Foundation owned about 200 buildings and four pieces of land around the nation, with a combined market value of NT$2.4 billion (US$72.66 million).

All of the real estate and buildings have been used by the foundation as nursing homes for people in a vegetative state or as service centers for street people and elderly people who live alone, he said.

He said the foundation provided accommodation for 360 people in a vegetative state, using both its own properties as well as an additional 26 rented properties.

At the same time, it also provided home delivery and home care services for another 618 people in their own homes.

Of its annual outlay of about NT$1 billion, Cao said, about NT$100 million comes from government grants with the rest coming from private donations, including NT$100 million from lottery prizes for uniform invoices collected from the public.