Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Issues Refund Checks To Kentuckians Misled By Purported Veterans Charity
Attorney General Jack Conway today issued refund checks totaling nearly $10,000 to 558 Kentuckians who made donations to the American Veterans Coalition. Earlier this month, General Conway announced a settlement with the Washington-based charity that claimed to raise funds to help pay veterans’ expenses but ultimately gave less than 1% of the money raised to veterans.
“Kentuckians gave to the American Veterans Coalition with the belief that their contributions would help those who have sacrificed so much for our country. Unfortunately, they were misled. I am pleased that we were able to recover the money and that we can now return it to the families who gave so generously,” said General Conway.
In the settlement announced December 10th, American Veterans Coalition and its principal operators, Robert Friend, Jr. and Shao Mei Wang, were barred from soliciting contributions in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for 10 years. The settlement also required the charity to refund $9,927.50, the entire amount raised in Kentucky, as restitution.
The Office of the Attorney General alleged the American Veterans Coalition violated the Consumer Protection Act by making false and misleading statements to donors about how contributions would be used. Investigators report that the Coalition misled donors into believing that a substantial amount of their donations would be spent on providing financial assistance to veterans. Of the $1,239,812 raised nationally in 2006, the group only spent $7,400 in financial assistance to veterans.
Since taking office, General Conway has announced five other settlements and recovered $46,827.50 for the Commonwealth and consumers from charities or solicitors that have allegedly violated Consumer Protection laws.