Veterans charity Bay State Veterans Inc. and its third-party fundraising company Dynamic Marketing are being sued by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office for misleading their donors about the appropriation of money donated. Following complaints from those solicited and an investigative report by NBC-10 in Rhode Island, Martha Coakley filed the lawsuit to investigate the fundraising practices at Dynamic Marketing.
NBC-10 reports that one of Dynamic Marketing’s found, Thomas Gity, Jr., was convicted of a similar offense while running a fundraising company in New York City, this one raising money for firefighters. The sales representatives soliciting donations over the phone allegedly told their donors that all of the money raised went to the charity. However, only 15% of the money raised was actually forwarded on to Bay State Veterans
While perfectly legal for the company to keep 85% of money raised, it does break Massachusetts law to hide that fact from the donors. The suit alleges that the fundraisers misrepresented themselves; including pretending to be veterans themselves when in fact they were not. While not technically illegal, such practices suggest the sort of anything-goes sales culture that is a hallmark of these types of scams.
Dynamic Marketing’s President, John Chaves, told NBC-10 that the allegations were “fraudulent.” However, on his personal Facebook page he has numerous posts cheering signing contracts with police departments. In a post dated July 31, he writes, “’Something like Ali in his prime’ Half million dollar contract in the bank. I’m the BEST at what I do. Just saying!” An unnamed source from the Bay State Veterans organization told NBC-10 that they were not trying to deceive anyone and the terms of their involvement with Dynamic Marketing were never misrepresented by them. However, there has been no official statement from the group.
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