McDaniel Files Suit against Deceptive Veterans Charity
LITTLE ROCK-Today, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced the filing of a consumer protection lawsuit against a Washington State-based organization which calls itself The American Veterans Coalition ("AVC"). The lawsuit alleges that AVC and its owners have conducted fraudulent fundraising activities in violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The Attorney General alleges that AVC collected $3.5 million from donors nationwide from 2004-2006 pursuant to the representation that the funds would be used to support veterans in a myriad of ways. However, only about 1% of that amount was used to assist veterans, and none in Arkansas. The remainder of the money was used to pay contractors and the controlling individuals of AVC.
The lawsuit further alleges that AVC claimed to provide care packages to veterans staying in VA hospitals across the country and to support veterans' memorials, including the Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Little Rock. AVC provided none of these gifts and provided no support for any memorials, in Arkansas or elsewhere.
"During this holiday season we are reminded of the sacrifices that were made by our veterans as well as those of our current military personnel who are separated from their families and loved ones. Arkansans have always been generous in their financial, spiritual and emotional support of veterans," said McDaniel. "But to take advantage of such generosity is reprehensible."
The case was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court where the Attorney General seeks to enjoin AVC from further deceptive fundraising, to recover funds wrongfully acquired by the company and its owners, and to impose civil penalties for the violation of Arkansas laws.