KIMT-TV 3 – The Attorneys General and Iowa and Minnesota and joining a nationwide effort to crack down on fraudulent charities claiming to help veterans.
The project is called “Operation Donate with Honor” and it announced Thursday more than 100 actions against charities, fundraisers and individuals. One of those actions was Minnesota AG Lori Swanson getting a Consent Judgment permanently banning the Florida-based Help the Vets, Inc. from soliciting in Minnesota due to misrepresentations that donations would be used to help disabled and wounded military veterans.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
Swanson says the donations primarily benefits Help the Vets President Neil Paulson and the charity’s for-profit telemarketers.
“Veterans serve our country with honor and distinction. Outfits that take advantage of donors seeking to help veterans have no place in Minnesota,” says Swanson. “Dubious veterans charities using deceptive solicitation practices are an increasing problem across the country and today’s action is another step in our ongoing efforts to combat this type of fraud.”
Swanson says Help the Vets, Inc. solicited more than $370,000 in donations in Minnesota.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says “Operation Donate with Honor” involves the Federal Trade Commission and officials from every state.
“Most charities live up to their fundraising promises, but a few attract donations by using carefully crafted mailings intended to mislead donors, particularly older Iowans,” says Miller. “As a result, they harm not only the donors, but also the many legitimate charities engaged in important and vital work on behalf of veterans and service members.”