Organization violated prior court order barring it from soliciting in South Carolina
COLUMBIA, SC) -- Secretary of State Mark Hammond announced today that the South Carolina Administrative Law Court has held Miracle House of Hope Ministries in contempt for violating an order barring the organization from soliciting in the state of South Carolina, and has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of its chief executive officer, Bruce Little. The contempt order was issued on November 4, 2019, following a hearing that established that the North Carolina-based charity was continuing to solicit across the state. When the organization failed to comply with the contempt order, the court issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr. Little on November 20, 2019.
“Miracle House of Hope is a rogue organization that has shown complete disregard for the financial transparency that South Carolina requires of charitable organizations,” said Secretary Hammond. “Hopefully, this order of contempt and bench warrant will motivate Miracle House of Hope to come clean and let the people of South Carolina know what it is doing with their donations.”
On March 18, 2019, the Court issued an order barring Miracle House of Hope from engaging in solicitation in South Carolina until it filed all required annual financial reports and registered under the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act. Additionally, the Court ordered the organization to pay $10,000 in administrative fines. The contempt order noted that since Miracle House of Hope was enjoined from soliciting, there had been eleven documented instances of the organization soliciting within the state—including in Columbia, Greenville, Gaffney, Seneca, and Lancaster.
“We brought this action following the receipt of numerous complaints from concerned citizens, and with help from members of law enforcement who have cited Miracle House of Hope solicitors for unlawfully impeding traffic,” stated Secretary Hammond.
Miracle House of Hope collects donations by having solicitors stand in busy intersections, approach drivers in their cars for money, and hand out flyers describing the organization’s mission. According to the flyers, Miracle House of Hope is seeking charitable contributions to assist people with addiction by providing them room, board, and “meaningful work within the ministry.”
Secretary Hammond noted that organizations like Miracle House of Hope that prey upon unsuspecting donors hurt legitimate charities that do good work. “It’s a shame that the money that Miracle House of Hope collects isn’t going to a charity that will actually let donors know how they are using their contributions,” said Secretary Hammond. “The message that the court has sent is clear: if you are going to solicit in South Carolina, you must comply with South Carolina law or face the consequences.”
Secretary Hammond asks South Carolinians to alert the Secretary of State’s Office if they receive a solicitation from Miracle House of Hope Ministries, or if they have concerns about any charitable organization operating within the state. Citizens can file a confidential complaint 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using the Secretary of State’s Online Charitable Solicitation Complaint Form, which is available at www.sos.sc.gov. You can also contact the Division of Public Charities at 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484).