Zahra Baker Foundation threatened with legal action - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Zahra Baker Foundation threatened with legal action

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

There are new legal threats for a man running a charity in the name of Zahra Baker. The little girl's step-mother killed her in 2010, and the story captured headlines around the world.

Jim Julian told WBTV he created the Zahra Clare Baker foundation in 2011 to raise money for children with challenges.

People who donated accused Julian of being dishonest about what he did with the money. A state investigation showed he hasn't broken the law, but he did fail to file the proper paperwork.

WBTV was the first to report last October when North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's office became concerned. Julian has always said that his foundation is a legitimate one.

"(It's) to help get kids to their cancer treatments. We have purchased wheelchairs and had a laptop computer refurbished and sent to a little girl with Asperger Syndrome in the mountains," he said.

Even though Julian was adamant his foundation put money it raised to good use, Cooper's office continued to investigate, sending him multiple letters. The most recent letter was sent September 12, 2013.

Creecy Johnson, an assistant attorney general with the Consumer Protection Division told Julian he needed written consent to raise money in Zahra's name. 

Johnson wrote "Despite my request, you have failed to provide me with a copy of such written consent."

Julian told WBTV by phone he's not worried about the letter.

"There ain't nothing to it Dave. They just sent me this thing saying we gotta fill out this paperwork and that's what we're doing," he said.

Investigators also wrote that Julian's exemption from state charitable solicitation requirements has expired, telling him he is currently soliciting donations in violation of state statutes and threatening legal action.

Julian told me he's still learning how to run a charity, and says he's made honest mistakes, but they are not intentional.

"They don't tell us what we have to do. They don't help us like they said they were going to help us," he said.

Jim Julian has not been charged with any crime. He says he stopped soliciting funds for the foundation until he gets his paperwork together. He says he'll file the new paperwork on Monday to continue his foundation.

Zahra Baker's step mother, Elisa Baker pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges. She's serving an 18-year sentence for the crime. Zahra's father, Adam Baker, moved back to their home country of Australia.

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