Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—November 7, 2017
By: Rosemary Piser
Yesterday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a settlement to dissolve VietNow National Headquarters Inc. (VietNow), an alleged non-profit corporation based in Rockford, Ill. that falsely claimed to help veterans overcome unemployment and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Madigan, along with the Attorney Generals from California, Michigan and Ohio along with AGs from 20 other states led the action.
VietNow and its 14-member board agreed to settle allegations that it violated laws in Illinois and other states by misleading donors as to who was soliciting donations and how those donations were actually used. They also settled allegations that VietNow spent the majority of donations to paid professional fundraisers and other administrative costs rather than on programs to help Vietnam and other veterans.
In speaking about the settlement, Attorney General Madigan said, “For years VietNow has scammed donations from people who thought their money would be used to support necessary services for our military veterans. Instead, VietNow pocketed donations and did virtually nothing for veterans. Today’s settlement finally will put an end to VietNow’s egregious fraud.”
A court appointed receiver will close down VietNow’s operations. Any remaining assets from VietNow will be distributed equally to two national veterans’ charities, specifically, Fisher House Foundation Inc., and Operation Homefront Inc.
Fisher House is a non-profit based organization based in Rockville, Maryland that provides military families housing when loved ones are hospitalized for an illness, disease or injury.
Operation Homefront Inc., is a San Antonio-based charity that provides relief and family support programs to help military families overcome short-term obstacles so they don’t become long-term chronic problems. Both organizations provide services to Illinois residents.
Each of the other 23 states investigating VietNow will enter into a state-specific settlement agreement with VietNow and its controlling directors containing terms similar to those in the Illinois order.