John Putz Sep. 22, 2014, 1:30pm

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller accused a group of Fort Wayne residents who formed nonprofit organizations of falsely claiming they were to benefit veterans in a lawsuit filed in Allen County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

The organizations include Sandbox Veterans of America Incorporated, Catholic Veterans of Indiana Limited and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Incorporated. The complaint lists Adam Silvani, Olivia Jean Locke/Silvani, Roger Locke and Donald Shoppe as the defendants.

Zoeller said the organizations have solicited Indiana consumers to support war veterans since 2011, but they haven't made use of the donations as they represented to the people making donations.

"Our military veterans are among the most deserving of support and assistance," Zoeller said. "It is shameful that groups would pose as nonprofits benefiting veterans and deceive consumers into donating."

According to the complaint, in one case of misrepresentation, the defendants solicited road-side donations with signs asking people to "Support Catholic Vets." They told the public that they would give the funds to John Peck, a U.S. Marine who was injured in Iraq. There is no record that this happened.

Zoeller contends that the defendants are guilty of violating the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act and recommends that consumers scammed by these organizations file complaints with his office.

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