Officers of Southland Veterans Charity Fined $2.5 Million

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By Garrett Therolf

 

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris announced a settlement with Help Hospitalized Veterans, a charity accused of malfeasance. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press / June 26, 2013)
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris announced a settlement with Help Hospitalized Veterans, a charity accused of malfeasance. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press / June 26, 2013)

(September 7, 2013, 3:14 p.m.) – California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris has announced a settlement with a charitable organization whose executive officers she sued for improperly diverting funds intended to support programs serving veterans and active-duty service members.
The settlement requires that all directors and officers of the Help Hospitalized Veterans charity named as defendants to resign and pay $2.5 million in restitution. The principal officers were accused of spending most of the organization’s donations on fundraising and what the state called “excessive compensation” for its executives.
Under the settlement of a pending lawsuit, the group’s president, Michael Lynch, will be permanently barred from acting as a key official at any any California charity. Four directors — Thomas Arnold, Robert Beckley, Gorham L. Black III and Leonard Rogers — will also be subject to bans.
“Veterans face many challenges when they return home — it’s unconscionable that Help Hospitalized Veterans officials misused charitable money intended for those who served and have sacrificed for our country,” Harris said in a prepared statement.
 

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