Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has filed a settlement requiring a veterans' charity to stop soliciting donations.
An investigation into Florida-based Healing Heroes Network and Hero Giveaways showed the organization allegedly misused funds meant to provide medical care and other benefits to veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11, according to a news release.
Donations were used to pay professional fundraisers, online advertising fees, the salaries of two of the organization's directors and to purchase T-shirts from a family member's business, the release said.
"As Attorney General, I will continue to aggressively pursue any organization that deceptively uses veterans to persuade Minnesotans to donate their hard-earned dollars to illegitimate causes," Ellison said in a statement.
The organization solicited about $56,000 from Minnesotans between 2015 and 2017, according to the release. The former directors — Stacey, Neal and Allan Spiegel — will be banned for five years from overseeing, managing and soliciting donations for any nonprofit. They will also be required to pay $95,000 to veterans' charities.
The settlement stems from an investigation by the Attorney General's Office and a group of attorneys in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and Washington.
Alex Chhith • 612-673-4759