hirtv.hu 16 June 2017
After an investigation lasting for three and a half years, the authorities concluded that not a single forint was misused by the Children Cancer Foundation. In their communication sent to our editorial, the foundation points out that the amount of 1% personal income tax donations fell by more than half a billion, due to a series of attacks and insinuations against the organisation.
After terminating the procedure against the Children Cancer Foundation, the authorities concluded that not a single forint had been misused by the organisation. A decision by the Budapest Police Department (BRFK) stated that perpetration of a criminal offence could not be established on the basis of available data and further investigation was not likely to produce any results, therefore the investigation was terminated.
Quoting the BRFK decision word by word:
During the investigation, neither breach of fiduciary obligations nor consequential financial loss could be established. Further data arising during the procedure and suggesting criminal offence were duly checked, extensive investigative actions were performed, but no criminal offence could be established on the basis of available data. Furthermore, since no further investigative actions are likely to carry forward the investigation, termination of the investigative procedure is justified.
The foundation got into the focus of attention when an article entitled ‘Avoiding traffic jam in private ambulance’ was published by Index informing readers that István Balogh, president of the Children Cancer Foundation, uses the foundation’s Mercedes carrying the sign ‘Children Cancer Foundation Child Saving’ to commute from his home to the foundation’s downtown offices. Although the portal claimed they had seen Mr Balogh several times driving to work to District 8 (where the Foundation’s offices are located) in a sedan-type patient carrier vehicle purchased by donations, the president then pointed out that although the patient carrier was occasionally used for “errands of public interest”, it was never used for private purposes.
As the Children Cancer Foundation writes in their statement addressed to our editorial, upon the article and following charges pressed by an MP from the political party ‘Jobbik’, a series of attacks were launched against them in the media. “The final message was that István Balogh, president of the board of trustees, misappropriates, in fact steals, a great deal of the money donated to help sick children, making himself and his family rich, while only a fraction of the money is actually distributed among children in need.”
Due to the article on the Index portal in December 2013 and further ones in other media, personal income tax donations fell by 550 million forints compared to what was expected based on tendencies during the one and a half decades preceding 2014, according to their own calculations. The foundation claims to have lost 150 million in a single year, due to a dramatic decrease in offerings.
Despite what happened, they continue to support children with cancer, just as they did in the previous two decades. They have helped a great number of children to cope with everyday challenges: donated wigs, paid for vaccinations, or provided medical equipment to families in need. In addition, they regularly support hospitals: for example, they donated a sum of 101 million forints to Heim Pál Paediatric Hospital at Christmas and purchased an X-ray machine worth tens of millions for the hospital in Miskolc earlier.