DES MOINES | An Illinois nonprofit corporation that raised money in Iowa and 23 other states through deceptive claims will shut down permanently.
VietNow, of Rockford, which also used the name VeteransNow, pledged to help veterans overcome joblessness, post-traumatic stress disorder and claimed to provide “medical facilities and treatment,” according to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s office. The nonprofit also said it would use donations to fund local veterans programs.
“VietNow asked kind and generous Iowans to donate to help veterans who need it, and those behind this organization helped themselves to most of the funds,” Miller said.
In March, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette alleged thousands of deceptive solicitation violations against VietNow for misrepresenting its charitable programs to donors.
Attorney generals in other states then began their own investigations of the nonprofit and its principals, which resulted in the court-approved agreement to dissolve the organization.
The settlement resolves the allegations and investigations by appointing a receiver to dissolve VietNow.
The settlement also obtains injunctive relief against VietNow’s directors and officers and requires their cooperation in investigations of VietNow’s professional fundraisers.
Two professional fundraisers are registered in Iowa to raise funds on behalf of VietNow.