Secretary of State files enforcement actions against veterans’ charities

September 25, 2017

Secretary of State Mark Hammond announced today that his office has filed a series of enforcement actions against charities raising money in the name of veterans.  “Over the next year, our office will be taking a hard look at organizations that exploit the honor of the men and women who have sacrificed to protect our country and our freedoms,” said Secretary Hammond.  “This enforcement initiative will focus on so-called veterans’ charities that take advantage of donors’ generosity and patriotism.”

As part of this initiative, the Secretary of State’s Office has filed a series of petitions for injunctive relief for alleged violations of the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act.  The violations have included failure to file annual financial reports that provide transparency to donors, and, in one instance, failure to comply with an investigative subpoena.

On September 13, 2017, the SC Administrative Law Court issued an order granting injunctive relief against the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, Inc. and Purple Heart Services, Inc. for failure to file financial reports and pay $5,760.00 in administrative fines.  “Not only do these organizations have a history of noncompliance with the filing requirements of the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, but they also have been named Scrooges in previous years for failing to devote a significant amount of their expenditures to charitable activities,” said Secretary Hammond.  The Secretary of State’s Office recognized the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation as a Scrooge in 2012, and Purple Heart Services as a Scrooge in 2016. The Secretary of State’s Office has also filed petitions for injunctive relief against the charitable organizations Heels for Combat Boots and Feed Our Veterans.  Feed Our Veterans was recognized as a Scrooge in 2013.

“I look forward to using this initiative to educate the public on wise charitable giving and to promote transparency and accountability for charities that claim to help members of the armed services,” said Secretary Hammond.  “In addition, I urge anyone to contact our office if they have any concerns about a charity, or if they receive any solicitations from the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation or Purple Heart Services.”  Concerned citizens may file a confidential complaint by using the Online Charitable Solicitation Complaint Form that is available on the Secretary of State’s website  Donors may inquire about the registration status of a charitable organization and review registered charities’ financial information by using the Charity Search feature on the website.  The Secretary of State’s Division of Public Charities may be reached by calling 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484).