Bryan Cohen Oct. 4, 2013, 4:45pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit Thursday against a Kansas City nonprofit for allegedly refusing to return more than $39,000 to a company that transports veterans to see their memorials.

Kendallwood Hospice Company agreed to hold donations for Honor Flight Network of Kansas City Inc. in a separate bank account.

Honor Flight helps World War II veterans and terminally ill Korean and Vietnam War veterans see their memorials.

The organizations agreed that the president and treasurer of Honor Flight could withdraw funds to pay for veterans to visit memorials in Washington.

In February, Kendallwood allegedly removed Honor Flight's president and treasurer from the signature card for the account, leaving Honor Flight unable to access its funds.

Despite repeated requests from Honor Flight, Kendallwood refused to return the remaining Honor Flight funds to the National Honor Flight Network.

"Honor Flight has the single purpose of ensuring that the men and women who risked their lives for our country can visit the memorials that stand in their honor," Koster said. "Withholding funds that good-hearted people have donated to make these trips a reality for veterans is an insult to those who have served our country and secured our freedoms."

Kendallwood Hospice allegedly withheld $39,878.72 from Honor Flight, forcing the cancellation of a planned June 8 flight that would have transported 54 veterans to see their memorials. Two of the veterans died before their flights could be rescheduled.

As part of the lawsuit, Koster obtained a temporary restraining order freezing $39,878.72 of Honor Flight donations in Kendallwood Hospice's bank account.

The lawsuit alleges Kendallwood engaged in deceptive and unfair practices, improper use of charitable gifts and violations of state law governing non-profits.

The suit requests that the court force Kendallwood Hospice to distribute all funds collected on behalf of Honor Flight, in addition to demanding the payment of civil penalties and court costs.

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