Georgia Charity Shut Down, Accused of Illegal Gambling and Tax Fraud

A Georgia-based charity known as Little Kings and Queens has come under fire after its director was jailed on illegal gambling charges. The charity put on gambling-themed fundraisers for children’s causes, but its tax filings have alerted officials that that might not have been the case after all.

Georgia Charity Shut Down, Accused of Illegal Gambling and Tax Fraud

Little Kings and Queens (LKQ), a charitable organization based in Buford, Georgia, has been shut down by Gwinnett County authorities after its director, Dennis Maxwell, was arrested on multiple charges related to running illegal gambling operations. The organization’s tax records are also under scrutiny for potential fraud.

The charity was founded in 2016, and was known for putting on gambling-themed fundraisers, such as poker tournaments, that were said to benefit children’s charities.

However, public tax records for Little Kings and Queens are extremely vague, and do not disclose details such as who made donations, how those donations were used or who the company donated money to, which are legally required when filing an IRS Form 990 for tax-exempt organizations.

Maxwell, 51, was arrested on felony and misdemeanor counts of keeping an illegal gambling place. According to court records, he was released on $1,300 bond, but not before police shut down the organization and seized $30,000 in funds.

LKQ’s revenue skyrocketed from just over $175,000 in 2016 to nearly $2 million in 2019, which is the most recent available tax filing. However, the filings, which were submitted by Forrestall CPAs in Buford, provide no details as to how that money came about, or how it was spent.

None of the returns feature a list of donors, and they all list the outgoing donations as simply “DONATIONS PAID OUT” followed by a lump sum—that number exceeded $1 million in 2019 alone.

Both Maxwell and Forrestall have declined to comment on the matter.

It is unclear at this time whether LKQ was actually partnered with other charities, but there is little evidence to support that claim.

The organization’s website has since been taken down, but prior screenshots reveal that it had featured the same charity—known as Adventure Bags—as its ‘Charity of the Month’ for all of 2021. The Atlanta Community Food Bank was also listed as a partner, but neither organization could confirm that LKQ was actually partnered with them in any way.

Gambling is illegal in Georgia but several bills have been proposed in the last several years that would legalize casinos in several cities. Efforts to revive those bills will be attempted this year, as well as a return of a bill that would legalize sports betting, which never came up for a vote in 2021.