INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller recently filed a lawsuit in Allen County Circuit Court against a group of Fort Wayne residents who formed nonprofit organizations that allegedly falsely claimed to benefit veterans.
The organizations include Sandbox Veterans of American Inc., Catholic Veterans of Indiana Ltd. and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Inc. The complaint lists Adam Silvani, Olivia Jean Locke/Silvani, Roger Locke and Donald Shoppe as the defendants.
Beginning in June 2011, the organizations solicited Indiana consumers to support war veterans, but allegedly did not make use of the donations as they represented to the people who donated.
"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. This is an egregious violation of the public's trust."
According to the complaint, in one case of misrepresentation, the defendants allegedly solicited road-side donations with signs asking people to "Support Catholic Vets." They allegedly told the public that they would give the funds to a U.S. Marine, John Peck, who was injured in Iraq. There is no record that this happened, Zoeller claims.
Zoeller said that the defendants are guilty of violating the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act and recommended that consumers who believe they were scammed file complaints with the Attorney General's Office.