Bring so-called charity to account


* A St. Petersburg Times Editorial *

Three months after questions were first raised about the validity of the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, Florida’s commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Charles Bronson, is poised to ban the shady enterprise from raising money here. Now the state needs to pursue criminal charges against the group that began in Tampa. Millions of dollars reportedly raised from well-meaning Americans to help veterans is still unaccounted for and there’s ample evidence the group has repeatedly misled the public to believe it performed good works.

Bronson filed an administrative complaint Wednesday that gives the so-called charity 21 days to respond to his allegations that it is unlawfully registered since his investigators could find no office or officer of the association in Florida. His office also said it was continuing the investigation. Attorney General Bill McCollum is also investigating.

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