Hershey Trust Company

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Hershey Trust Company
IndustryConfectionery, entertainment, education, real estate
FoundedApril 28, 1905 (114 years ago) (1905-04-28)
in Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
FoundersMilton S. Hershey
Harry Lebkicher
John E. Snyder
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Key people
Robert C. Heist Chairman[1]

The Hershey Trust Company is a United States corporation incorporated on April 28, 1905, by Milton S. Hershey, Harry Lebkicher and John E. Snyder. The company is majority owner of The Hershey Company and sole private owner of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company and administrator of the 2,000 student Milton Hershey School. It manages the $13.751 billion USD (2015) endowment of the Milton Hershey School and School Trust.[2]


On April 28, 1905, the Pennsylvania Department of State issued a charter creating the Hershey Trust Company.[3] In 1909, when Hershey founded the Milton Hershey School, Hershey appointed the Trust as administrator of the school trust.

2011 investigation of the Hershey Trust Company[edit]

In February 2011, Robert Reese (grandson of H. B. Reese the inventor of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups),[4] a former board member and president of the Trust,[5] filed a lawsuit against the Hershey Trust Company alleging that Trust had been improperly using the Trust's money.[6] One particular issue was the purchase of the Wren Dale Golf Course, in which the Hershey Trust overpaid for the property, to the benefit of board members who were both owners of the Wren Dale Golf Course and on the Hershey Trust board.[7][8] Reese withdrew the lawsuit in April 2011, due to deteriorating health. Reese suggested the Pennsylvania Attorney General had enough cause to investigate the Hershey Trust.[9]

In 2013, Kathleen Kane,[10] the Pennsylvania Attorney General, announced the conclusion of a two-year investigation into the operations of the Hershey Trust Company, in which the Office of Attorney General and the Hershey Trust Company agreed that there was a finding of no wrongdoing, but reforms were required of the trust company.[11][12]

2016 developments[edit]

In May, 2016, the state attorney general asked the company to remove three members from the ten-person board. The attorney general said that the three had allowed "apparent violations" of the 2013 agreement. At about the same time, in an unrelated investigation, John Estey, former chief of staff to Gov. Ed Rendell and a high-ranking executive of the company was charged with wire fraud, having pocketed $13,000 that an FBI sting operation had given to him in an investigation into illegal lobbying of legislators.[13][14]

Entities of the Milton Hershey School Trust[edit]

Entities of the Milton S. Hershey Foundation[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Board of Directors Hershey Trust Company". Hershey Trust Company. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  2. ^ "IRS Form 990 Milton Hershey School and School Trust" (PDF). Foundation Center. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Trust Co. At The Chocolate Plant". Harrisburg Telegraph. 28 April 1905. p. 1.
  4. ^ "The Reese's Revolution". The Sun. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Board Vs. Board". The Sun. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Hershey Charity Scandal: Robert Reese, Ex-Hershey Official, Claims Wrongdoing". The Huffington Post. 11 February 2011 – via The Associated Press. A former official involved with the multibillion-dollar charitable trust that controls the Hershey candy company is claiming in a court filing that board members used the trust's considerable assets to pad their bank accounts and treat themselves to luxury hotel stays, limousine rides and free golf.
  7. ^ Fernandez, Bob (3 October 2010). "Hershey school's purchase of golf course helped investors". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  8. ^ Fernandez, Bob (11 February 2011). "Ousted Hershey Trust president tells court of serious financial irregularities". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 13 November 2015. Reese, a scion of the peanut-butter cup fortune and a former senior executive of the Hershey Co., seeks to have Hershey trustees reimburse the charity $22 million for purchasing the Wren Dale course at an inflated price and improperly commingling funds in Hershey Trust that led to remedial action after the trust company alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  9. ^ Fernandez, Bob (5 April 2011). "Court action against Hershey is pulled". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 13 November 2015. Just as the legal battle was heating up, a former insider at the multibillion-dollar Hershey charity has withdrawn his court action that claimed the misuse of millions of dollars meant for educating poor children. Robert Reese, a former Hershey trustee and president of the Hershey Trust Co., took the action Monday, saying deteriorating eyesight made it impossible for him to pursue the case. He added that he believed the Attorney General's Office would investigate his claims, which were filed Feb. 8 in Dauphin County Orphans Court.
  10. ^ "Ex-Hershey Trust official Robert Reese gives $100K to AG candidate Kathleen Kane". Penn Live. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  11. ^ Malawskey, Nick (8 May 2013). "Pennsylvania's attorney general: No penalties, but reforms for Hershey Trust". Patriot News. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Hershey Trust Company Reaches Agreement with Attorney General on Reforms to Better Serve the Milton Hershey School Mission". PRNewswire. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  13. ^ Fernandez, Bob (3 May 2016). "AG wants to remove 3 leaders of Hershey Trust". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Few details available in Estey bombshell". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.

External links[edit]