We’re talking about veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project! Come on man!
These four lowlifes in Indiana were busted for running fake “Wounded Warrior” fundraisers to raise money for veterans. The problem was they weren’t veterans and pocketed more than $125,000 for themselves.
These scumbags pretended to be veterans and preyed on honest, hardworking people under the false pretense they were helping veterans. Real veterans who dutifully serve our country deserve better than lowlifes depriving them of donations.
FAKE NAMES USED TO HIDE THEIR IDENTITIES AS VETERANS
The U.S. attorney in Indiana has charged the conspirators with fraud for creating bogus charities called the Wounded Warrior Foundation, Inc. and the Wounded Warrior Fund to trick donors into thinking they were supporting the Wounded Warrior Project, a real charity founded in 2003.
The ringleader of the conspiracy, James Linville, and another man Thomas Johnson, would frequently go by fake names to hide their identities as veterans.
The four alleged fraudsters – posing as veterans, operated between 2011 and 2017, and solicited donations from businesses and individuals in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, according to prosecutors.
Linville and Johnson would put out mailers and solicit donations from businesses, sometimes receiving gift cards and tools and other gifts in kind, which they would sell for cash, according to the charges.
FRAUDSTERS ASKED FOR DONATIONS FOR VETERANS
The pair also would ask for things like services and hotel rooms at a discount “based on the false pretense that the donated items were for veterans,” according to the charges.
In one scheme, the alleged fraudsters or fake veterans asked for donations to buy overseas calling cards. In another, the fake charity asked for school supplies for military families.
Two co-conspirators, Amy Bennett and Joanie Watson, both of whom are also charged with fraud against veterans, would pick up the donations from businesses and deposit them in various bank accounts. Sometimes they would pick up checks made out to the legitimate Wounded Warrior Project and deposit funds in their own, bogus organization’s account.
The indictment, filed by a grand jury on Feb. 28 and unsealed in court Thursday, is the result of a three-year investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the Sheriff’s Department in Clark County, Indiana.
FAKE VETERANS – One lowlife threatens sheriff
Linville, who is 44, got wind of the investigation and in July 2017 and allegedly called the sheriff to threaten him, according to the indictment reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. He left a series of voicemail messages claiming he would get out of jail, that he would go to war against the department, and threatened to sue the sheriff personally and expose the Fraternal Order of Police for misusing donated funds.
“Watch what I do to you, dog,” Linville allegedly said in one voice message. “Fundraising won’t be the same. And I’m going to sue your (Fraternal Order of Police). I’m suing you personally. I’m going to put your ass in jeopardy.”
Linville also said his family would be able to get him out of charges. “Lock me up motherf***er, watch what happens. My parents will get me out and I will own you,” he allegedly said.
“The alleged crimes, in this case, preyed on honest, hardworking people, families, and businesses in our community under a false pretense they were helping veterans,” Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel said in a press release.
“We owe our veterans a great debt of gratitude; we will not tolerate people taking advantage of them. We will continue to work together to investigate fraudulent organizations to protect our community.”
The Courier-Journal reported, police charged James D. Linville, 44, and Joanie Watson, 38, of Clarksville, as well as Thomas A. Johnson, 42, and Amy L. Bennett, 40, both of Henryville, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. If convicted, the four could face up to 20 years in prison.
REAL WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT COMMITTED TO SERVING VETERANS
The Wounded Warrior Project thanked law enforcement for bringing down the scam.
“We are grateful law enforcement will hold those involved accountable for their actions and the harm they have caused our nation’s bravest and their families,” the Wounded Warrior Project said in a statement. “WWP is committed to ensuring donor intentions are honored and we take this responsibility seriously.”
I think as punishment these 4 lowlifes who posed as FAKE veterans, should actual have to spend some time in REAL combat, maybe then they will appreciate the risks that REAL veterans have experienced in real life.
God Bless Our Veterans!
Resources: Conservative Tribune, Fox News