PayPal accused of covertly redirecting charitable donations

PayPal says users funneled $7.3 billion in charitable contributions through its digital payment service last year.

But some of that money might not have made it to where it was supposed to go, according to a class-action lawsuit recently filed against the service.

PayPal's charity hub lists hundreds of charitable organizations to donate to. But not all of the charities listed have accounts with PayPal, which means they can't access donations through the service.

Instead, PayPal says it gives organizations six months to make an account, after which the company "may reassign their funds to another charitable organization."

SEE MORE: PayPal Scraps Plans For New N.C. Office Due To Anti-LGBT Law

PayPal also says it contacts charities at regular intervals during the six-month waiting period, but the lawsuit claims that in some cases, donors and charities were left in the dark about where their money was going.

Terry Kass, who prompted the lawsuit, said that 10 of the 13 charities she donated to through PayPal don't have a record of her contributions. She told The New York Times: "I don't want to file my taxes to the federal government saying I gave to a charity that never got my money. ... It's their money. They are entitled to the money."

PayPal said in a statement to Mic that none of the money from its recent holiday charity campaign, which is when the donations at the center of the lawsuit were made, has been redirected yet.

They added: "PayPal Giving Fund does not hold any donations in interest bearing accounts, and therefore earns no interest on any charitable donations. We are disappointed by the lawsuit and we are fully prepared to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter."

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Top scandals of 2016
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Top scandals of 2016

Donald Trump & Bill Bush tape

Video obtained by The Washington Post captured President-elect Donald Trump using vulgar terms to brag about groping and kissing woman. The video was from 2005 and Trump was talking to Billy Bush who was an Access Hollywood host at the time. Trump labeled the video "locker room talk".

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Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte claimed that he and three other Team USA swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in Rio by men claiming to be police. Police in Brazil refuted his claims and it was later discovered that he lied about the incident.

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DNC email leak

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down from her position just before the convention after leaked emails appeared to show party officials favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

(REUTERS/Scott Audette)

Kanye Hospitalized

Kanye West was hospitalized for exhaustion after the remaining dates of his Saint Pablo Tour were called off. TMZ reported that he suffered a nervous breakdown that was triggered by the anniversary of his mother's death.

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Roger Ailes

Former chairman & CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, stepped down from his position after the network's former anchor, Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Fox eventually reached a $20 million settlement with Carlson.

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EpiPen maker Mylan

The skyrocketing costs of EpiPen's manufactured by Mylan NV pharmaceutical company was brought to the forefront in 2016. The price of the medication used by allergy sufferers increased by 400% over the past decade.

(REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo)

Anthony Weiner sexting scandal

Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner was embroiled in another sexting scandal in 2016. His wife and top aide to Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, announced she would be separating from her husband in August after the new allegations of sexting surfaced. 

(Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)

Wells Fargo Bank

Employees in Wells Fargo's community banking division were accused of opening nearly two million unauthorized accounts to reach sales goals. Wells Fargo was hit with $185 million in fines and thousands of people were fired in connection with the fraud scheme. 

 (Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

After two years of marriage and more than a decade together actress Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt. The actor was investigated on child abuse accusations after an incident on the family's private plane, but he was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Baylor sex assault scandal

An investigation at Baylor University uncovered 17 separate acts of sexual assault by 19 members of the Baylor football team. Coach Art Briles was fired but denies that he was told about the alleged crimes. Other school officials also reportedly knew of the assault accusations and failed to take the appropriate steps to address them.

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Bill Cosby sex abuse scandal

The scandal surrounding Bill Cosby took a major step forward in 2016 when a judge ruled that the actor must stand trial on sex abuse charges. More than 50 women have come forward claiming that Cosby sexually abused them over the past several decades. 

(REUTERS/Matt Rourke/Pool/File Photo)

Russia doping scandal

More than 1,000 Russian athletes are now accused of being involved in a doping program. A report by the World Anti-Doping Agency says that the athletes span across 30 sports. Russia has been stripped of several Olympic medals due to the scandal.

(REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)


The scandal that started in 2013 came to a head in 2016. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's top aide, Bridget Kelly and a former Port Authority executive, Bill Baroni were found guilty on all counts in the George Washington Bridge trial. They were accused of intentionally causing a traffic gridlock in Fort Lee during morning rush hour for a week in September 2013.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Amber Heard filed for divorce in May and soon after that she also filed for a restraining order against Depp claiming he threw a cellphone at her during a fight. The two reached a multi-million dollar settlement that is supposed to be donated to the ACLU and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Donna Brazile

CNN severed ties with Interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee and network contributor Donna Brazile after it was revealed that she sent debate questions to Hillary Clinton's camp ahead of the CNN debate.

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Reenlistment bonus scandal

Nearly a decade ago the Pentagon was offering soldiers bonuses of $15,000 or more to entice them to reenlist and fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2016, officials were demanding that thousands of those soldiers repay the money because the bonuses were given improperly. Defense Secretary Ash Carter eventually suspended the efforts to take the money back.

(Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Kanye West and Taylor Swift's phone conversation

In July, Kim Kardashian posted a video of her husband and Taylor Swift discussing the lyrics to Kanye's song, "Famous." Swift had said that she was never made aware of the song's lyrics but many people think the videos that Kim posted on social media show that she did.

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)


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