Boobies Rock! breast cancer fundraiser a scam, says Colorado attorney general
"Boobies Rock!" sent hot girls into bars wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the company's name -- and they told customers to whom they sold branded merchandise that the money they collected would go toward fighting breast cancer.
But while a smell percentage of it did, the majority appears to have enriched Castle Rock's Adam Shyrock, who's now the target of a consumer protection lawsuit filed by Colorado's attorney general. Photos, videos, documents and details below.
A screen grab from the now defunct BoobiesRockStore.org website.
These days, websites such as BoobiesRockStore.org have vanished, but a few remnants of the company remain, including a blog that boasts, "Boobies Rock! is a creative blend of music, sports, fashion and pop culture. Established in September of 2010, Boobies Rock! has quickly grown to become one of the leading advocates for the awareness of breast cancer across the U.S. Our mission is simple; to create awareness through fun, fashionable and humorous clothing and accessories. Keep checking back for fun news, pictures, and more!!"
Also lingering is a Twitter account -- and although the links to the "Boobies Rock!" Facebook page are dead, some pitches linger, including this one:
Hiring For Sales Reps! $4,500-$6,000 per month, message us for details!
— BOOBIES ROCK! (@boobies_rock) June 28, 2012
According to a 9News report from last November, most of the young women who accepted offers like this one in Colorado and beyond thought they were working for an outfit with a big charity component -- and most customers undoubtedly did as well, due to a strategy portrayed in the AG's lawsuit as purposefully misleading. Here's an excerpt:
Shyrock and his employees instructed promotion models to approach potential customers and represent that they were "taking donations" rather than selling merchandise. The models were further instructed to refer to BR as a "charitable company" and to only disclose that BR was a for-profit entity if asked.
Shyrock told models to tell customers that a percentage of the BR's net proceeds would go to charity. Some models report that they were told to say anywhere from 40 percent to 80-90 percent of BR revenue went to charity, others were told to be vague about the amount of money going to charity.
Some people apparently were so convinced that Boobies Rock! was a charity that they offered cash donations rather than buying items. These gifts were gladly accepted and combined with other funds, the lawsuit maintains. Likewise, managers at assorted bars invaded by Boobies Rock! crews were allegedly told that employees were "taking contributions for breast cancer-related causes."
How much was collected?
Between June 2011 and December 2012, the main Boobies Rock! account at Wells Fargo showed deposits of $1,074,323.26, with a little more than half that amount made in cash, the lawsuit says.
As for Shyrock, he used the Boobies Rock! account for what the lawsuit describes as "personal expenditures" -- such as $18,500 withdrawn in order to purchase a BMW. He's also said to have dipped into this greenback pool to pay his bar tab and subscribe to an online dating service.
Meanwhile, Boobies Rock! is accused of invoking the names of actual breast cancer charities to make it seem more legitimate. An example can be found in the most recent item on the "Boobies Rock!" blog, dated October 2011. The item declares: "We are extremely excited to announce that we have just sent a $25,000 donation to the Young Survival Coalition!!" However, the lawsuit contends that this donation was actually made to settle a lawsuit from Young Survival Coalition, which hadn't given "Boobies Rock!" permission to use its name or trademark in solicitation materials.
This lawsuit wasn't the first to target Shyrock or affiliated companies, including The Se7ven Group and Say No 2 Cancer, both of which are named in the Colorado AG's complaint. Take this August 2011 post on the Ripoff Report website:
I am a previous employee of the company Boobies Rock! and although I've defended the company in the past, I quit my position in May when I realized that none of the donations had been made to the various non-profits that Mr. Adam Shryock had pledged to donate to, as promised. I was a promotional hiring manager in San Francisco and likely reached out to you point of contact that he works with, as I was sent to travel to hundreds of cities for NFL and college football games. After I left the company Mr. Shryock continued to use my e-mail account as if I were still working for him. I advise doing a background check on this person and his company. Adam Shryock is currently in a lawsuit with Keep A Breast for using their slogan "I Love Boobies" previous to using Boobies Rock! (which he only changed the logo after several threats from Keep A Breast at taking him to court).
A Boobies Rock! shirt and other merchandise sold by company employees.
Shyrock was able to keep "Boobies Rock!" functioning despite trips to court -- but the operation, The Se7ven Group and Say No 2 Cancer have been put on hold in Colorado due to a temporary restraining order active through July 10, with a July 8 hearing scheduled on the subject.
Suthers clearly believes "Boobies Rock!" should be shut down for good. An AG's office statement quotes him as saying, "Shryock misled thousands of consumers in Colorado and across the country into believing they were supporting breast cancer-related charities. In reality, very little of the money collected went to legitimate cancer groups...."
Adds Suthers: "Shryock passed through the absolute bare minimum to a series of legitimate nonprofit charities to keep his scheme alive.... This case is an important example why consumers should be wary of unsolicited charitable appeals and do their homework before they give to any purported charity."
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa June 2012: "Kirsten Hamling allegedly stole $243K raised by Firefighter Calendar."
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