Thursday, May 24, 2012

Senate To Investigate Veterans Charity

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee will investigate whether a charity for disabled veterans deserves to keep its tax-exempt status after giving millions of dollars to a direct mail company, and not spending enough money on aid to veterans.

CNN reported that committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) announced the investigation of Washington, D.C.-based Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) on Wednesday. He said that the investigation will determine whether the organization will be able to keep its tax-exempt status.

"The tax exemption for charities exists to promote worthwhile causes like assistance to veterans, not to provide tax loopholes to abuse," Baucus said in a Wednesday news release. "DVNF has a responsibility to show it's genuinely helping veterans and playing by the rules."

A two-year investigation by CNN's "Keeping Them Honest" series found that very little of the $56 million raised by DVNF over the last three years went to direct aid for disabled veterans. Instead, the nonprofit has paid almost $61 million to Quadriga Art and its subsidiaries, according to IRS 990 forms. Quadriga Art is one of the nation's largest direct mail providers to charities and nonprofits.

The investigation also found that DVNF supplied unnecessary contributions to veterans aid groups, such as candy, hand sanitizer, and dress shoes -- all surplus items that the charity gets for free.

DVNF President Precilla Wilkewitz said in a statement that her organization will "will happily answer the questions posed by the United States Senate Finance Committee and provide it with information that others have sadly, chosen to ignore."

You can read more about this story on CNN.

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