Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

NY state shuts down charity it says exploited veterans, mismanaged funds

November 14, 2016

As published by Syracuse.com on November 10, 2016.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says a charity for Vietnam War veterans will cease operations after investigators found it mismanaged funds and used donations to support its founder’s lavish lifestyle.

Schneiderman, a Democrat, said Thursday that former National Vietnam Veterans Foundation President John Thomas Burch Jr. also agreed to pay damages, apologize to donors and promise not to handle charitable assets anywhere in the country.

Schneiderman’s office says Burch’s charity gave almost all of its donations to professional fundraisers or used them to pay for his travel, fine dining, nightclub visits and gifts for female acquaintances.

Burch is a Vietnam veteran and ex-U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs attorney. In his apology he wrote that his charity used veterans as “a prop” to raise money.

Attempts to reach Burch were unsuccessful Thursday.