In Giving to Charity, Let the Donor Beware

"I mean, the Firefighters Charitable Foundation now, is doing about 6, 7 million [dollars] a year," he said. "It didn't even begin to take off yet. It's just getting rolling."

Former Attorney General: ‘Despicable’

When ABCNEWS checked with charity watchdog groups, the Firefighters Charitable Foundation and another one Troia's connected to for veterans, VietNow, received failing grades based on how much money went to Troia and the fund-raisers — as much as 85 percent.

"If [the donor] really knew what he was doing, they would never agree to give him their money," said Borochoff.

When ABCNEWS showed the undercover tape of Troia explaining what was needed to start a charity to the former Illinois attorney general, Ryan, he called it "despicable."

"It sounds to me like he's trying to tell your producer how to get around the law and still make a lot of money," he told ABCNEWS' Ross.

Troia's lawyer says he is protected by the First Amendment because he helps small startup charities get going.

When Ross approached Troia and showed him the tape of his undercover meeting with the ABCNEWS producer, Troia said he was against the idea of starting the charity from the start, saying Schwartz had been "too greedy."

Yet during the investigation, Troia said 90 percent of all the money coming in for the new charity would cover the cost of the fund-raising.

"That is not an acceptable percentage for any charity that's legitimate," said Van Ness. "He's the enemy of the people who put their hard-earned dollars out there for charitable purposes and it is not going there."

Borochoff warned that people receiving solicitations for money should "think of this guy, in your mind, because it may be somebody like him."

This report aired on July 17 on World News Tonight and Primetime.

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