Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that Assurances of Voluntary Compliance have been filed in three cases involving solicitations for veterans' charities.
"Because of their broad appeal, veterans' charities attract all sorts of for-profit fundraising operations," Myers said. "The resolution of these cases represents six months work by the Charitable Activities Section to curtail misleading solicitation practices associated with veterans' charities."
On July 16, AMVETS of Oregon signed an agreement to refrain from making false or misleading representations in its written materials and telephone solicitations. While solicitors from the organization represented that 90% of the funds raised would go to assist veterans, Department investigators determined that less than 20% of the money raised directly benefited veterans. According to the agreement, AMVETS will pay $50,000 to the Department of Justice to be used for veterans programs, plus $17,500 to cover the Department's investigation costs and attorney fees, and have agreed to make accurate fundraising representations in the future.
On June 1, Rudolph W. Baker signed an agreement to cease solicitations in Oregon on behalf of the National Vietnam Veterans Coalition Foundation. Mr. Baker has paid the Department of Justice $2,495, which has been refunded to Oregon donors and $1,000 in attorney fees and investigation costs. In addition to conducting an unlawful telephone solicitation campaign on behalf of an unregistered, out-of-state charity, solicitors led donors to believe they represented Veterans Accredited Programs (VAP).
Veterans Accredited Programs signed an assurance of voluntary compliance in February in which they agreed to end all solicitations in Oregon on behalf of V.E.T.S. (Victory Ensured Through Service). The Charitable Activities Section had determined that "Care Packs" sold for distribution at the VA Hospital for $29.95 contained items valued at under $5.00. Donations received after the AVC was filed have been returned to donors.
"I encourage Oregonians to get the facts before responding to any charitable solicitation," Myers added. "My office maintains information on over 11,000 charities active in Oregon. These files can be accessed through our web site at www.doj.state.or.us or by calling our Portland office at (503) 229-5725."
Victoria Cox, (971) 673-1880