ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s attorney general says a Colorado-based charity has agreed to spend $425,000 on programs benefiting veterans and dissolve itself to settle allegations it falsely promised donors to use their money to buy phone cards for service members and their families.
The settlement filed Thursday says the TREA Memorial Foundation raised more than $340,000 from Minnesotans, often with promises that donations would help service members or veterans call home.
But Attorney General Lori Swanson says those representations were false, and the foundation didn’t buy phone cards after 2014.
Cara Lawrence, a lawyer for the Centennial, Colorado-based group, blamed a professional fundraiser that ran the program. She says the foundation stopped buying cards because Skype and cellphones cut demand for them, and the surplus cards have been donated to a VA hospital.
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