Any time someone creates a scam that cheats people out of charitable donations, it’s an awful crime. But in this case, it’s especially bad because the donors were led to believe they were helping American veterans. If these allegations are true, the people behind this deserve to have the book thrown at them.
The Daily Caller reports:
Fake Veterans Allegedly Create Fake Charity, Raise $125,000 And Keep It All For Themselves
Four people in Indiana allegedly raised money for a fake veteran’s charity and pocketed $125,000 in an “elaborate fraud scheme,” according to a recent indictment.
The U.S. attorney in Indiana has charged the conspirators with fraud for creating bogus charities called the Wounded Warrior Foundation, Inc. and the Wounded Warrior Fund to trick donors into thinking they were supporting the Wounded Warrior Project, a real charity founded in 2003.
The ringleader of the conspiracy, James Linville, and another man Thomas Johnson, would frequently go by fake names to hide their identities. Linville would go by the alias “Sergeant Bob Johnson” to make potential donors think he was a former military service member.
“Our American veterans have dutifully served this country through many wars and deserve better than to be deprived of donations from giving donors,” U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said in a statement. “The acts of these fraudsters have eroded the trust and good will of those who want to contribute to legitimate fundraising organizations, including those that support our veterans.”
This is a good reminder that you should always check out an organization before donating cash. There are a lot of scams out there.