Thursday, July 19, 2018

Federal Trade Commission Operation Donate with Honor campaign

If you are sick and tired of people making money off veterans, this will make you happy too!

FTC and States Combat Fraudulent Charities That Falsely Claim to Help Veterans and Servicemembers
Federal Trade Commission
July 19, 2018

The Federal Trade Commission, along with law enforcement officials and charity regulators from 70 offices in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico, announced more than 100 actions and a consumer education initiative in “Operation Donate with Honor,” a crackdown on fraudulent charities that con consumers by falsely promising their donations will help veterans and servicemembers.

“Americans are grateful for the sacrifices made by those who serve in the U.S. armed forces,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “Sadly, some con artists prey on that gratitude, using lies and deception to line their own pockets. In the process, they harm not only well-meaning donors, but also the many legitimate charities that actually do great work on behalf of veterans and servicemembers.”

The FTC planned this ongoing effort with the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO). The initiative includes an education campaign, in English and Spanish, to help consumers recognize charitable solicitation fraud and identify legitimate charities.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said, “Time and again, state attorneys general have come together on matters of national importance to enforce, educate and advocate on behalf of our residents. Charities fraud of any kind is abhorrent, and veterans charities fraud is especially upsetting. This campaign will offer important resources to help donors identify charities that match their own values.”

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said, “While the enforcement actions announced today represent some truly bad actors in the charitable sector, the vast majority of charitable organizations do good and important work. I urge donors to use the resources highlighted in today’s announcement and to donate with confidence in support of our military and veterans.”

“Not only do fraudulent charities steal money from patriotic Americans, they also discourage contributors from donating to real Veterans’ charities,” said Peter O’Rourke, Acting Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “The FTC’s Operation Donate with Honor campaign will help educate citizens on how to identify organizations that misrepresent themselves as legitimate veterans charities, and those who, by contrast, truly help our nation’s heroes. I commend the FTC and its state partners for taking strong action on this important issue.”
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Minnesota bans Florida veterans charity that officials say deceived donors, didn't benefit veterans
Star Tribune
Kelly Smith
July 19,2018

It's part of a nationwide crackdown on fraudulent veterans charities.
According to Swanson’s office, Help the Vets, Inc., solicited more than $370,000 in donations from more than 2,000 Minnesotans, telling donors their money would go to veterans’ medical care, operate a suicide prevention program for veterans and offer assistance to veterans fighting cancer.

Instead, most of the program, run by its Orlando-based founder Neil Paulson, distributed hotel and chiropractic vouchers that it had already received for free and officials said the charity couldn’t substantiate that it helped a single veteran.
Minnesota and five other states are permanently banning a Florida charity that promised donations would help disabled and wounded military veterans but instead, officials say, went toward the charity’s president and for-profit telemarketers.

Attorney General Lori Swanson announced Thursday that she got a consent judgment banning Help the Vets, Inc., from soliciting in Minnesota along with action from the Federal Trade Commission and attorney generals from Florida, California, Maryland, Ohio and Oregon.
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