Posted on November 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM
Tuesday, Nov 20 at 7:00 PM
SAN ANTONIO – Adorning the walls of the Texas Foundation of Hope are homemade necklaces, rosaries and other items, put together by clients who work for hours, building social skills as they support themselves.
And the Texas Foundation of Hope was overjoyed to learn of a big-donor last year: TriHM Foundation.
“We were going to look for another location, buy new equipment and expand,” said the Texas Foundation of Hope’s director, Beatrice Stephens.
TriHM’s $200,000 would’ve provided skills to even more mentally-handicapped individuals.
But Stephens said they were leery about the pledged money, after TriHM’s founder, Jackqueline Cooper, sponsored a golf-tournament for the agency.
Stephens added, “It would’ve been a lot more successful had she not written us a $10,000 bad check."
Speaking of checks, the I-Team found a string of them from TriHM -- pledges of millions of dollars to organizations across Texas:
- $70 million to Bexar County OIC to renovate their east-side vocational space;
- At least 3 agencies in the Dallas area, including $20 million pledged to Evergreen Presbyterian Services;
- $40 million to the Alamo Area Council of Governments;
- $7 million to Sunshine Lodge, an assisted-living facility on the west side; and
- $250,000 to Mosaic of San Antonio, whose programs help the mentally-challenged.
Executive director of Mosaic, Tanisha Fuller-Felix, said, “We’re still hopeful. Anyone that believes in our mission that’s going to support the population that we support, we’re excited about that.”
We asked TriHM’s former Human Resources director if she ever saw a dime of the foundation’s money make it to the non-profits it claimed to help. She says no agency—or TriHM’s employees—have ever been paid.
“Every week we heard, 'By the end of the week, we’ll have the money,'” said Pamela Howard. “I called the bank a couple of times, and the bank said the money is not in there."
The Texas Secretary of State’s office has no record of Jackqueline Cooper, or her business, the TriHM Foundation.
But the Bexar County Clerk has the assumed name on file, and she’s also known in another county department when she received deferred adjudication for at least two cases of check fraud.
Cooper said in an interview with KENS-TV Monday, “In the Bible God says he'll take the foolish things to confound the wise. And so, I totally trust in him. It seems too good to be true. It is not."
KENS-5 has learned that it’s tough to prosecute Cooper, because technically, there’s no crime in not delivering on a promise.
But these small non-profits say the crime is giving unbridled hope to agencies that in turn, deliver hope to the disadvantaged.
Howard added, “I don’t believe they’re ever going to see the money, and that’s sad, because they really have an amazing goal that’s going to touch many lives and really make a difference.”