Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Demands Website Immediately Stop Selling Jasper Howard Merchandise

October 23, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today demanded that a Pennsylvania website immediately stop selling T-shirts and towels memorializing recently murdered University of Connecticut football player Jasper Howard or face legal action.

Blumenthal said that claims proceeds will benefit Howard's unborn child, but has failed to demonstrate authorization or permission. The website violated state law by failing to register with his office's Public Charities Unit. The site's merchandise is also breaking the law by using, without UConn's permission, copyrighted images of Howard as well as the university's logo, he said.

Blumenthal said that he will sue, based in Presto, Penn., if it does not immediately stop its illegal sales, as well as seek forfeiture of proceeds from any unauthorized sales, if appropriate.

Blumenthal added that Bob's Stores, Huskyware and UConn Co-op have agreed to sell Howard memorial T-Shirts with all profits to benefit two legitimate charities in Howard's name. He urged consumers to shun all other vendors and stores that may try to sell Howard merchandise.

"I am demanding that immediately cease selling Jasper Howard merchandise in violation of state charity and copyright laws," Blumenthal said. "The site claims all proceeds will support Howard's unborn child, but has failed to demonstrate any permission or authorization from the family or UConn. They have also failed to register as a charity. Their unauthorized actions are illegal, breaking state statutes. Its products use Howard's name and image, and UConn logos, violating federal and state laws.

"Any attempt to exploit Howard's tragic death is despicable and unconscionable. I will fight anyone seeking to exploit Howard's heartrending tragedy, as well as pursue civil penalties and forfeitures."

Blumenthal said that UConn and the Howard family have established the Jasper T. Howard Endowed Scholarship and the Jasper Howard Fund to assist his family with funeral and other expenses and to benefit his unborn child.

Those wishing to donate to the Jasper Howard scholarship fund should make checks payable to "UConn Foundation UCADF" and indicate "Jasper T. Howard Scholarship" in the memo line, sending them to:

Jasper T. Howard Scholarship
C/O UConn Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 150430
Hartford, Ct. 06115-0430

Donors wishing to benefit Howard's unborn child and his family are asked to make checks payable to "The Jasper Howard Fund" and mail them to:

Jasper Howard Fund
C/O People's United Bank
2075 Hillside Road
Storrs, Ct. 06268