The Wounded Warriors Support Group is a non-profit created to provide emotional support to wounded war veterans in the form of equestrian activities. But a recent lawsuit filed by the California State Attorney General claims that the organization is a fraud. This organization shouldn't be confused with the Wounded Warriors Project, which is a legitimate charity.
In short, a husband and wife, their two adult children, and the family's two businesses, have all been implicated in a fraudulent charity scheme. The family is accused of using the charitable donations received to finance their personal lives, hobbies, and businesses. The charity was supposed to use the contributions to connect wounded veterans with horses for therapeutic purposes.
Details of the Deception
The fraudulent charity started to have the façade around it crumble when they claimed to be raffling off a 1965 Shelby Cobra for the charity last year. However, when a user discovered that the website for the raffle had disappeared, even though they had actually spent $100 on raffle tickets and seen the car in person at a car show, they began to raise questions. Those questions led to a state audit, which discovered that much of the charity's income was being used by the family for non-charity purposes.
While raffling off a six figure classic sports car is bound to raise a few eyebrows, shockingly, the group is now on its 7th Shelby raffle, and have been doing annual Shelby Cobra raffles for years now. Although most websites that discuss the current 2017 raffle for a 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby can no longer be found online, the Wounded Warrior Support Group is likely to face quite a bit of online vitriol in the coming days, weeks and months when more people learn about the deception, as the lawsuit was filed just this week.
Though the case against the WWSG family is civil, there are likely to be criminal penalties added on as the facts of the case unravel. It is not uncommon to see criminal charges filed against individuals who commit fraud in order to solicit donations.