Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is not feeling real charitable toward Bit by Bit Equine, and he is warning Mississippians not to get in the saddle with the Pearl-based charity.
Hosemann says Bit by Bit Equine is not registered with the state as is required by law, and continues to solicit donations in Mississippi despite a cease and desist order by the Secretary of State’s Office.
“Just because a charity provides a service to Mississippians does not exclude it from registering with the state,” says Hosemann. “Too often, groups prey on the good nature of our people. Registering your charity with the State is the law — it provides much needed confidence to our citizens that the funds they donate actually go toward a charitable purpose.”
The Secretary of State’s Office was notified by a concerned citizen that Bit by Bit Equine, run by Stephanie Barnes Wilson of Brandon, was soliciting funds in the state. On four different occasions over several months, Bit by Bit Equine has been contacted by the Secretary of State’s Office informing the charity of the registration requirement. The agency also informed Bit by Bit its continued solicitation for donations without registration was in direct violation of state law.
Despite repeated notices, Hosemann’s office reports the charity never filed the proper documents to solicit funds in the state and continued to solicit funds in Mississippi. Therefore, the Secretary of State’s Office has imposed a penalty of $1,000 against the charity and has ordered them to cease and desist soliciting funds in the state.