Recycling nonprofit Kitchen Kingz shut down after state investigation reveals fraud

A nonprofit was shut down Wednesday and its president was ordered to repay thousands of “misused funds,” according to a news release from Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

Kitchen Kingz Corporation President Mitchell Helling must repay $20,000 and is also permanently banned from operating a charity, accessing charitable assets and soliciting charitable contributions in Minnesota.

The company claimed to operate a recycling program where people could donate “high-end kitchens and luxury home goods” that would be repurposed and sold for proceeds that would go to charity.

Investigators found that Helling used at least $19,501.63 of Kitchen Kingz assets for personal benefit instead of the stated charitable mission.

State officials then filed an assurance of discontinuance in Ramsey County District Court that described how the company’s board of directors, led by Helling, failed in its oversight responsibilities and allowed the misuse of funds to proceed.

The donations were said to go to charities such as Secondhand Hounds and Prevent Child Abuse in America.

The settlement agreement states Helling must pay back the $19,501.63 in addition to a $25,000 penalty if he violates any terms of the settlement.

Kitchen Kingz must also liquidate its assets and distribute them to one or more nonprofits in the state with similar charitable purposes, then dissolve.

Minnesota Attorney General Ellison released the following statement on the case:

“Minnesotans are generous people who want to help others. As Minnesota’s chief regulator of charitable organizations, it’s my job to ensure nonprofits that raise money for charitable purposes put them to proper use. Mitchell Helling abused Minnesotans’ trust and took advantage of their desire to help others when he used their charitable contributions for his own personal benefit. This settlement ensures the money he misused on himself will in fact be used to help others, and that he can never do anything like this again.”

Attorney General Keith Ellison

Anyone with concerns about the legitimacy of a nonprofit can file a complaint online or call either 651-296-3353 or 800-657-3787.