Americans give billions of dollars to charitable operations every year, but sadly not all of the recipients are legitimate.
On Tuesday, charges were filed against 4 cancer charities for allegedly scamming donors out of over 187 million dollars.
Taking the action were the Federal Trade Commission and legal representatives from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The lawsuit specifies the entities charged as the Cancer Fund of America, the Children's Cancer Fund of America, the BreastCancer Society, and Cancer Support Services, along with several directors and operators who are either related or business associates.
The complaint against them characterizes the organizations as being, "operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation..."
Dubious acts allegedly perpetrated by the organizations' management are many.
Among the highlights is the use of donations for personal expenditures such as Disney vacations, jet ski excursions, and dating website memberships.
It's also said that the charities hired professional fundraisers and frequently allowed them to keep 85 percent of the money they collected.
Actual charitable uses are believed to account for only about 3 percent of the donation spending.
Two of the four charities involved in the filing have already agreed to take pleas and dissolve their organizations.
Below are some other examples of 'charities' which were exposed as scams:
Four cancer charities charged for scamming donors out of $187 million
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Steven Gall sentences John Donald Cody on racketeering, theft, money laundering charges Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, in Cleveland. Cody was sentenced to 28 years in prison for defrauding donors of up to $100 million in 41 states through the United States Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran under the stolen identity, Bobby Thompson, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
John Donald Cody speaks during his sentencing on racketeering, theft, money laundering charges Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, in Cleveland. Cody, using the stolen identity Bobby Thompson, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for defrauding donors of up to $100 million in 41 states through the United States Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Capt. Anthony Juliana, who commands the Salvation Army in Charleston, S.C., speaks with reporters on Jan. 13, 2010 about donors who helped the agency recover from a check scam. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)
In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Selden, N.Y., a large trash container sits in the driveway of a home formerly occupied by a New York woman accused of running a cancer charity scam to feed a heroin addiction. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman)
John G. Bennett Jr., center, his wife Joyce, left, and his unidentified daughter, right, walk into federal court in Philadelphia Monday, Sept. 22, 1997. Bennett, who said he set out to change the world for "the glory of God," received a 12-year prison sentence this morning for running the largest charity scam in the nation's history. (AP Photo/Dan Loh)
Patricia Houlihan, director of the Catholic Charities Immigration Services of the Little Rock Dioceses, speaks in favor of a bill sponsored by Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville., during a Senate Committee on Judiciary meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005, at the Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Madison's bill, which was endorsed by the committee Wednesday, would protect hispanic speaking immigrants from scam artist offering bogus legal services. (AP Photo/Mike Wintroath)
Spanish lawyer Javier Cremades (L) listens during the first meeting of the global alliance of laws firms of 22 countries affected by the Madoff's fraud in Madrid, on February 17, 2009. Former Nasdaq stock exchange chairman Bernard Madoff was arrested in early December after allegedly confessing to his two sons and to the FBI that he had run a 50-billion-dollar pyramid fraud known as a Ponzi scheme. Investors caught in Madoff's alleged fraud include Hollywood celebrities, charities, universities, and major financial institutions including UBS, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas and Citigroup. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
The Federal Trade Commission building in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. The nation's largest prepaid mobile provider, TracFone Wireless, will pay $40 million to settle government claims that it misled millions of smartphone customers with promises of unlimited data service. The FTC said that TracFone's advertising promised unlimited data, but the company then drastically slowed down consumers' data speeds, a practice known as throttling, when they had used a certain amount of data within a 30-day period. In some cases, the FTC said, the company cut off customers' data service when they ran over the limit. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)