On Friday, December 7, the U.S. Pain Foundation shared a statement regarding the misuse of funds by the former CEO. We are limited in what additional information we can disclose at this time due to the ongoing investigation and the pending 2016 and 2017 Form 990 Information Returns, which we anticipate will be filed by the end of the year. We continue to cooperate with the authorities and are seeking restitution.
In the interest of transparency, we do want to respond to several questions that we have received.
We did not previously comment on these matters on the advice of counsel, due to the ongoing investigation. The organization has been working diligently with its interim chief financial officer and new accountant to prepare the 2016 and 2017 Returns while ensuring accurate accounting.
The final 990 Returns, as well as the 2018 Return, will accurately establish the extent of the funds misused by the former CEO. The 2018 return is due by May 15, 2019, and we plan to file it well in advance of that date. The delay in filing the 2016 and 2017 Returns can be attributed to inaccurate and incomplete financial records maintained by the former CEO. The delayed preparation of the 990 Returns in turn delayed the renewal of our charitable solicitation registration in the state of Connecticut, which expired as of November 30.
We are cooperating with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, which has not opened a formal investigation into U.S. Pain. Once the 990 Returns are available, we anticipate the registration will be renewed. In the interim, we have ceased soliciting funds. In addition to working with the Department of Consumer Protection, we initiated a meeting regarding the former CEO’s actions with the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General.
In addition, there have been questions about the number of members of U.S. Pain. Our programs, education materials, and services are free to anyone (with the exception of a pediatric family retreat weekend). Previously, we informally defined “members” as many categories of individuals, including our mailing list subscribers, support group participants, INvisible Project readers, anyone who receives our education materials, and people who attend our events. With new leadership, we focused on a new definition of “member” that solely includes the 15,000+ subscribers who have opted in to receive a monthly newsletter, updates and activation alerts from U.S. Pain. We recognize that these individuals are not formal voting “members” of U.S. Pain, as the U.S. Pain Foundation is not a membership organization.
While we work to resolve issues, the organization continues to deliver on our important programs and events to support people with pain. With new policies and protective measures in place to significantly strengthen the financial reporting and controls of the organization, we are continuing our mission to educate, connect, support and empower individuals living with pain. We have learned and grown from the situation, and the organization is stronger than ever.
The Board of Directors and Nicole Hemmenway, Interim CEO
U.S. Pain Foundation