Hershey Trust Company

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Hershey Trust Company
Industry Confectionery, entertainment, education, real estate
Founded April 28, 1905 (112 years ago) (1905-04-28)
in Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
Founders Milton S. Hershey
Harry Lebkicher
John E. Snyder
Headquarters Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
Key people
Velma Redmond
Joseph Senser
Robert Cavanaugh
(Former Chairman)[1]
John Estey (Lobbyist)
Website hersheytrust.com

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 about $12.3 billion in charitable funds.[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, a former board member and president of the Trust, filed a lawsuit against the Hershey Trust Company alleging that Trust had been improperly using the Trust's money.[4] 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.[5][6] 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.[7]

In 2013, Kathleen Kane, 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.[8][9]

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.[1][10]

Entities of the Milton Hershey School Trust[edit]

Entities of the Milton S. Hershey Foundation[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Fernandez, Bob (May 3, 2016). "AG wants to remove 3 leaders of Hershey Trust". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ Frenandez, Bob (11 July 2016). "Board member at troubled Hershey Trust resigns". Inquirer. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Trust Co. At The Chocolate Plant". Harrisburg Telegraph. April 28, 1905. p. 1. 
  4. ^ "Hershey Charity Scandal: Robert Reese, Ex-Hershey Official, Claims Wrongdoing". The Huffington Post. February 11, 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. 
  5. ^ Fernandez, Bob (October 3, 2010). "Hershey school's purchase of golf course helped investors". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ Fernandez, Bob (February 11, 2011). "Ousted Hershey Trust president tells court of serious financial irregularities". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 13, 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. 
  7. ^ Fernandez, Bob (April 5, 2011). "Court action against Hershey is pulled". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 13, 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. 
  8. ^ Malawskey, Nick (May 8, 2013). "Pennsylvania's attorney general: No penalties, but reforms for Hershey Trust". Patriot News. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Hershey Trust Company Reaches Agreement with Attorney General on Reforms to Better Serve the Milton Hershey School Mission". PRNewswire. May 8, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Few details available in Estey bombshell". The Philadelphia Inquirer. May 1, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 

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