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    $3 million lawsuit filed against Architecture for Humanity

    Lucy Marrett

    Leaders of not-for-profit organisation Architecture for Humanity (AFH) are being sued for $3 million for allegedly misusing funds, according to Architectural Record (AR).  

    The news comes just one year after the U.S. organisation led by founder Cameron Sinclair suddenly closed and declared bankruptcy. It has come to light that Sinclair, along with the other board of directors, is being sued for mismanagement of funds.

    The AFH, which had 60 chapters worldwide and consisted of two paid employees and 10 board director volunteers, was comprised of entrepreneurs, tech experts and architects. The charitable organisation sought to provide architectural solutions to humanitarian crises and provide professional design services. What began in 1999 as a response to an immediate need to house refugees, quickly snowballed into a series of pro-bono design and construction management services as well as funding for the various projects around the world. 

    On the 10 June, 2016 a court-appointed trustee filed a complaint against the founder and directors of AFH, tells AR. The lawsuit, which was filed in the San Francisco division of the U.S Bankruptcy Court, claims that the defendants in question acted with gross negligence as well as breaching their fiduciary duties between 21 July 2012 and 31 December 2014. More specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the AFH founders and board members improperly used ‘restricted funds’ and violated agreements with donors. 

    The trustee for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Janina M. Hoskins is seeking $US3 million in damages. If won the money will be distributed among those companies and organisations who are creditors associated with the bankruptcy case. According to court documents, there are 170 creditors in total. 

    Among the creditors are various charities, commercial businesses and universities. Government agencies in Massachusetts, California and New York are also listed as creditors. 

    The defendants are required to respond to a summons by Thursday the 14 July UTC time. A status conference is shceduled on the 26 August at a San Francisco courthouse. 

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