Attorney General McDaniel Settles Litigation Against American Veterans Coalition
LITTLE ROCK- Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that his office entered into a settlement of a consumer protection lawsuit that was filed against American Veterans Coalition. In December of 2007, McDaniel filed suit against the Washington-based group, claiming that it had deceived Arkansas residents during solicitations for donations. McDaniel alleged that less than 1% of the donations raised were actually used to support veterans and no support whatsoever had been given to Arkansas veterans.
A consent judgment between the parties, which will be filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court, stipulates that American Veterans Coalition will pay the Attorney General $33,749. This amount represents the total amount of money donated by Arkansas residents. Under the terms of the settlement, these funds will be redirected to an organization in Arkansas that will use the funds to provide assistance to Arkansas veterans.
In addition to this payment, American Veterans Coalition and its operators will be forbidden from soliciting donations in Arkansas for five years. After five years have elapsed, they will be allowed to solicit donations in Arkansas, but only so long as at least 60% of the funds that are raised go directly toward helping veterans. This percentage is based on the suggested limit set by the American Institute of Philanthropy, a prominent nonprofit watchdog organization. The Consent Judgment provides that no more than 40% of the funds raised may be used for fundraising costs or management salaries.
"We are glad that through our efforts we were able to fulfill the desires of Arkansans who donated to this organization, and that we can continue to support those who have given so much to defend our country," stated McDaniel