ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday against a St. Louis-area man and his company for allegedly running a charity scam.
According to the lawsuit filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court, Matthew Buckingham and Veterans Aid From All Foreign Wars Inc. allegedly solicited donations for wounded veterans and Buckingham kept the money for himself.
"Matthew Buckingham dishonored our veterans through deceit and took advantage of Missourians' charitable spirit," Koster said. "We will take action against those who prey on the goodwill of Missourians, especially at the expense of those who have sacrificed so much for our country."
Buckingham allegedly placed ads on Craigslist seeking female associates to sell raffle tickets in St. Louis-area bars and told them to tell potential purchasers the proceeds from aJuly 4 raffle would help local veterans. Buckingham also allegedly told his sales associates he was a wounded veteran and worked for various military branches and the Department of Homeland Security. Buckingham allegedly showed his associates military paraphernalia he collected from area recruiting offices.
Buckingham allegedly never served in the military and no raffle ever occurred. Buckingham and his charity allegedly failed to distribute donations to veterans.
Koster's lawsuit requests that the court dissolve Veterans Aid From All Foreign Wars, impose a permanent injunction to prohibit Buckingham from deceptive solicitations and order Buckingham to pay civil penalties and restitution.
In a related federal case, Buckingham pleaded guilty to impersonating a federal agent.