No Veterans Left Behind dissolves, turns over its assets and agrees to pay restitution to a veterans' home.
Attorney General John Kroger today announced the shutdown of a deceptive charity that claimed to help U.S. veterans but instead kept most of the money it raised. Attorney General Kroger also announced that Oregon will join with other states in an effort to allow military funerals to be protected from offensive protests.
"Veterans deserve our respect and gratitude," said Attorney General Kroger. "The families of fallen soldiers deserve to honor their children in peace."
Under the lawsuit settlement, No Veterans Left Behind Association will be dissolved and the non-profit's meager assets, which include little more than some t-shirts, banners and a weed wacker, will be turned over to the State of Oregon. The four named defendants who ran the Oregon-based charity must pay a total of $4,800 over the next two years to the Oregon Veterans' Home and never engage in charitable activities again. If any of them violate the terms of the settlement, they must pay the state $75,000.
In a lawsuit filed last week, the Oregon Department of Justice alleged that the No Veterans Left Behind defendants and their paid solicitors set up booths in front of major retail stores in several Oregon counties, selling veterans-related gear and soliciting cash donations. They told store owners and shoppers that No Veterans Left Behind was an all-volunteer group that gave between 75 to 80 percent of its donated proceeds directly to needy veterans. In fact, the defendants who ran the organization kept at least 80% of the donations for their own use. At least $17,000 was donated and used improperly.
The Department of Justice last week also announced two additional lawsuits against unscrupulous veterans' charities and their fundraisers as well as settlements totaling $180,000 with a professional fundraising firm based in Florida and its client charity.
Attorney General Kroger today also announced that Oregon would join other states in an amicus brief in support of a Maryland man who sued a church that engaged in an offensive protest outside the funeral of his son, a soldier who died in Iraq.
The case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will determine whether the lawsuit violated the First Amendment rights of the Westboro Baptist Church, whose members have conducted pickets around the country, including in Oregon.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org