IAVA Fundraising Fraud

Former employees of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) say the organization has engaged in fundraising fraud including doctoring the books.

Paul Reickhoff, IAVA CEO, is reportedly the “mastermind” behind the doctoring schemes.

IAVA is one of the largest veterans organizations serving veterans of the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and apparently providing similar services as the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). The similarity does not end there, both organizations have come under fire for their money management of grant fundsreceived as part of the organizations fundraising efforts.

RELATED: Wounded Warrior Project Recovery Could Take Years After Scandal

Headlines about WWP and its lavish spending exposed malfeasance within the organization resulting in an erosion of fundraising and brand trust, last year.

Now, IAVA has possibly joined its ranks, if the allegations are proven.

Jonah Bennet at The Daily Caller wrote a damning piece yesterday about IAVA that may result in a massive shakeup within the organization. Numerous former employees who have had it with the organization came forward with the hope of reforming IAVA via public scrutiny when they approached Bennet with the story.

Here is what jumped out at me in the report.

IAVA apparently bundles all the grants, even the grants that should be set aside into separate accounting systems, into one account. This makes it hard to track.

This practice makes it hard to track the funds, and organization can inappropriately draw down on designated funds to compensate for low fundraising periods.

For grants with specified goals, IAVA reportedly exaggerated and doctored records to reflect grant outcomes that did not happen. Insiders said the fraudulent practice can easily be verified by tracking social media photos of events should the IRS investigate.

And they might because the practice as described opens the door to fraud.

IAVA Fundraising Fraud Described

Here is an excerpt from Bennet’s piece that I think really captures the problem here:

Still a third former employee with direct knowledge of the grant process said reports were exaggerated and doctored to reflect things that either didn’t happen at the scale reported or didn’t happen at all.

“There would be discussion about what needed to be included in a grant to make the funders happy, but that wouldn’t necessarily include facts,” this third former employee said.

“In an effort to be honest, I would say ‘Well, this isn’t real, this didn’t happen’–and I would just be rebuffed.”

Sometimes officers rebuffed the corrections. Other times, Paul himself would reportedly rewrite huge portions of the grant to include accomplishments that were simply fabrications, in order to please donors, the third former employee said.

Since IAVA takes an enormous amount of pictures of each of its events and posts them to social media, this employee added that it would be fairly easy to cross-reference events written up in grants with photos publicly available. If there aren’t any publicly available photos of an event listed in a grant, it likely never happened.

“There were some definite issues around grant compliance,” a fourth employee added. “If anyone ever looked at the books, the problems would be obvious.”

IAVA Rebuttal

CEO Paul Reickhoff denied the allegations later that day in a Stars and Stripes article:

“Some troublesome, anonymous accusations have been made against me and IAVA in the partisan internet news source, the Daily Caller,” Rieckhoff wrote. “It’s unfortunate that these nameless sources have gone to such lengths to attempt to discredit me and undermine IAVA’s critical mission.”

He said the group is committed to efficient and sound financial management and transparency.

“I’ve operated in the public eye for over 13 years and my work has been an open book,” Rieckhoff said. “I hope my long record of impact, dedication, success and support for my colleagues and our members will speak for itself.”

The allegations centered on Rieckhoff, calling him the “mastermind” behind doctored grant spending.

At the rate things are going, fundraising for veterans’ causes will see a hit. The biggest and smallest organizations seem to thumb their nose at fundraising laws ultimately harming veterans once caught.

[NOTE: I have been under the weather for the past few days after my mother’s mom passed away, in case my regular readers have been wondering. Thank you to those of you who reached out to see how I was doing.]

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/21/former-employees-say-ceo-of-large-veteran-org-pressured-them-to-falsify-grant-reports/

cj
Ben, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this were to turn out to be true. We veterans are used as stepping stones for all kind of corruption, after all what American would be against helping out veterans in need. This heartfelt obligation, the patriotic American has, sets the stage for alll kinds of crooks, con men, and scammers, to prey upon the good intentions of the everday American. It is shamefull. Heck, even religious organizations are corrupt. A better… Read more »
Ex va

@ cj, rofl!

namnibor
“[“I’ve operated in the public eye for over 13 years and my work has been an open book,” Rieckhoff said. “I hope my long record of impact, dedication, success and support for my colleagues and our members will speak for itself.”]” Anyone ever take notice how quickly these VSO Groups forget entirely to thank Veterans or even mention them, instead he only mentions “colleagues and our members”? I really want to believe by “members” he may be referring to Veterans… Read more »
91Veteran

Nam, I think IAVA started believing their own headlines.

They started out as a well intentioned group, but their intentions became clear when, like other hack VSOs, they started endorsing political candidates based on which direction they leaned rather than their history of support for veterans issues.

Truly sad that veterans groups cannot just focus on their primary purpose.

Raventaz
It is so disheartening to realize just how corrupt some Americans have become. Those who take advantage of the Veterans and those wishing to honestly support them, will answer for their devious actions. If not here on earth, they will come face to face with the man upstairs and be punished for their actions here on earth. I won’t see it, but I will know they will get their just due in the end. How shameful and disgraceful some of… Read more »
Crazy elf
“Doctored Books”, well, that explains how VSO’s get away with fraud, waste and abuse to those who contribute. I’ll bet *IF* one would dig deep enough, most VSO’s would be guilty of this. Remember, a few years ago, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) changed their banks to out in Denver. No one knew about it, until “DAVREFORM.org” reported on it. I said this before, While Obama was usurping his authority, “secret late night executive orders”, others were figuring out how to… Read more »
Rodriguez Peeples
All of it is completely true. And the worse part about it is, according to some current employees the CEO now holds daily meetings about this issue, reminds the employees of his 13 year tenure, tells them if they are not happy there they can leave, keeps the minority employee(s) for his dog and pony show to get money, creates an atmosphere of fear using the if you are not a good fit (leave) tactic & if you are not… Read more »
Crazy elf

@Mr. Peeples,
That person who “claims” to be an attorney, is possibly committing a felony.
If you have a friend in law enforcement, and can get that faker to say she’s an attorney, he might be able to arrest her.
I know in many states, one claiming to be something (attorney, doctor, nurse, etc.) they’re not, and are practicing in that field, ARE COMMITTING a crime!
Just a suggestion!

Thanks for the revelation on this bogus VSO!

91Veteran

That is a disgraceful way to run an organization, and shows a complete lack of leadership skills when he thinks fear and intimidation need to be used against employees.

Why not change their name by dropping the IA and they can be exactly like those other corrupt bastards.

Corruption in any charity pisses me off. In a veterans charity even more so. They smear us all.

Crazy elf
To all, If you’re interested, tonight on “the Sean Hannity Show” the head of “Project Veritas” will be talking about the “hundreds of hours” of videos he took of a major MSM. Many believe it’s about CNN. It’s the one President Trump complains about. If you’re not familiar with “Project Veritas”, they were the “undercover group” who took down “Planned Parenthood” and other groups. I hope they would go after some of our elected officials! Especially, “Songbird McCain” and the… Read more »
namnibor

Maxine Waters. (missing third stooge congress critter?)

Crazy elf

Thanks, namnibor.
My brain ain’t working this early.
Oh, here’s an article out from:
“Military.com/Daily News”
Titled;

“American Legion Wants To Grill Shulkin on VA Privatization”

23 Feb. 2017 | by Hope Hodge Seck.

Looks like they want that “gravy train” to continue.
VSO’s should have there Congressional Charters stripped!

Crazy elf

namnibor,
I forgot,
“Songbird McCain” is sticking his nose into this shit as well!

Crazy elf

namnibor,
The Legion and McCain want that $10 BILLION left from the “Choice Program” to be siphoned back into the VA!
What a crock of shit they’re playing on veterans healthcare!

namnibor
@Crazy elf and All: Anyone notice that Senator McCain went entirely rogue and just took a trip over to Syria/Afghanistan/Iraq to meddle with Pres. Trump’s and his General’s plans to fight and beat ISIS? WTF? It’s almost like the fat swamp beasts are worried that the wars are going to end so they have to go over and poke hot pokers at the angry animals. Perhaps McCain should be more concerned about the VAMC in his home State of Arizona… Read more »
namnibor
McCain also is the one that is constantly wanting to whittle away at CHAMPVA and Veteran benefits. I know between McCain and Graham, they were primarily responsible for CHAMPVA Premiums and Copays to increase. I often wonder if their perspectives would dramatically differ IF they HAD to utilize the VA for their healthcare? As it is, the congress critters even made themselves exempt from Obamacare….I am hoping THIS time around, Pres. Trump’s team suggests ALL congress critters to start using… Read more »
Crazy elf

Hey, namnibor,
Did you see the video on where the Navy opened up McCain’s records?
If not, google this;

“Navy Releases McCain’s Records”

It’s from:
“End Times Prophecy News”
Feb. 22, 2017 (8:08 min. long)

After you’ve watched it, you’ll understand why so many Navy personnel HATE “SONGBIRD McCain”!
It wasn’t just because of what that reprobate, asswipe, cockbite, sob did as a POW, there’s much more to the story!
If it weren’t for his dad, and other high ranking asswipes, he’d still be in prison!

namnibor
@Crazy elf– Yes, I did and I was enlightened by that plane crash and horrible fire…and had no idea McCain’s daddy was his “cleaner” of the event…people got hurt badly…McCain has never been far from that silver entitlement spoon then he married into a family with Platinum Spoons and Beer. It’s really no wonder why McCain ONLY brandishes his Military Svc. and War “hero” Status when he wants reelected but is totally clueless about the ground zero scandal with the… Read more »
Ex va

@ Crazy elf, i had no idea that McCain was in charge of the uss forrestal. The worst naval accident in naval history. Your post had me looking. I cannot believe this scandal exists and seemed to be hidden from the public. He is a self serving ego maniac that does not take responsibility for any of his **** ups. He has the political influence to get himself out of any serious accountability. Makes me sick.

BILL

30 years ago I worked contractally for a non profit.

I learned 30 years ago I would never donate money again to a non profit.

I am not saying they are all the same but how can you tell?

Dennis
My views on IAVA are the exact same views on ANY organization that accepts charitable contributions for a defined and highly specific subset of Americans. Furthermore, to single out within America veterans a specific set of conflicts whilst simultaneously dismissing the idea that injustice done to one is injustice done to all is a HUGE red flag to me in America. IAVA fights injustice done to vets, but only those vets deemd worthy by its corporate charter. IAVA and the… Read more »
Dennis
I want to announce a brand new veteran organization; “Left Handed Vets Of Domestic Violence”. For a small $374 donation, you can become a “ring finger” member (renewed yearly and fullfilled by Amazon dot com). For a $427 donation your can become an “index ringer” member and as a bonus we will send you a set of left-handed Ginsu Knives. For a donation exceeding $1000 you become a full fledged charter “middle finger” member and recieve a commemorative thank you… Read more »
namnibor
Larger question for this pending membership to the “Left Handed Vets Of Domestic Violence”; Let’s just suppose that this pending member has -2- middle fingers on his left hand, does that mean my dues are now $2000 or more a year or will this veteran have to additionally join the “Double Middle Fingered Left Handed Vets Of Domestic Violence”? Same address but they DO seem like different groups. What’s that fine print about needing to go to Walmart and procure… Read more »
91Veteran

All I wanna know is do I get a hat if I join?

It absolutely must look like a flower pot, have slots to add tinfoil and have a propeller with a blinking light.

Or I WILL NOT join.

Dennis

For $2000 you only get a different prize up the wazoo.

ANutterVet

The VA’s policy is one size fits all.

namnibor

@91Veteran– You have this charity confused with “Left Handed Vets Of DRONE Violence” (still LHVODV, but wear drones as hats that go and fundraise and return to head position with blinking light, propellers, slots for tinfoil, and indeed looks like a flower pot) Spared no expense.

91Veteran

AWESOME!

I know there will be many joining just for the hats!

ANutterVet
Scandals, scandals, everywhere. Of course there are going to be less controls on monies, when an organization uses one large account for said monies, and then there are no designated controls on the monies that have been received, and then said organization uses shoddy allocation accountability measures when the monies are distributed. Therefore, turning the account into one big slush fund. A no brainer from my point of view. I’m not surprised at all when I hear about the mismanagement… Read more »
Ex va

@ ANutterVet, well stated brother!

Old School Sapper

Word!!

ANutterVet

@Old School Sapper – Hey Old School, Sap me with what you mean by only posting the word, “Word.” Another party and myself have no idea. Thanks Bro.

91Veteran
Hope you get to feeling better soon Ben, and I am sorry for your loss. As for the story, as one who ran a veterans non profit for several years, this is blatant fraud, and if it is this obvious, the IRS will likely be knocking soon on IAVAs door. But, they may not do anything until a donor complains, and a donor may not complain if they accept excuses from Reickhoff, and/or he agrees to return the grant. It… Read more »
Lem

signing on

Crazy elf

Two articles of interest from:
“The Horn News”
Dated: 23 Feb. 2017
Titled:
“[CPAC] Hannity to conservatives: Trump needs our help!”

by: “The Horn Editorial Team”

#2)
Titled:

“Illegal Immigrants are STEALING Social Security Payments!”

by: “The Horn Editorial Team”
Quote from article;
“Still don’t think we need to build a wall?”
This is the “WHY”, we on Social Security, aren’t seeing a raise!

Seymore Klearly

Nice post Elf,

Sad but true article. The comment section is also very revealing about how they are scamming SS.

vet613

Hello Ben,

Although we have never met in person I wanted to express my condolences on the loss of your mom. Having experienced same situation many years ago I know it stays with you for a long time and a mom is always a mom.

I’m very sorry for your loss and want you to know that as a combat disabled Vietnam veteran I truly appreciate the work you’re doing

Donna
Ben, great article! I’ve always wondered why there are so many different charities that claim to help vets but not once have I ever read anything that has actually helped, sick, homeless vets and their families. I think that most Americans have a very soft heart when we hear the word Vet, we think of the fighting, bloodshed, leaving their families to serve our country and feel obligated to give to these various charities! So much corruption, so sad! Ps.,… Read more »
Crazy elf
This article brings back a memory. It had to do with President Trump and the $6 million (approx.) he raised last year for veterans organizations. Remember how the news medias, especially the MSM’s, “dogged and harassed” him over WHEN he was going to give it out? His response still is in my head. He “…wanted to ‘vet’ them!” Remember that???? He had a perfect right to be pissed that day. When he spoke to the news medias! Some on here,… Read more »
Crazy elf

And, as far as McCain is concerned, google this;

“Navy Releases McCain’s Records”

From:
“End Times Prophecy News”
22 Feb. 2017
Find out for yourselves why John “SONGBIRD” McCain is so fucking hated. Especially within the Navy!
Yesterday, I told y’all how Navy personnel hated his ass. Now, you’ll all understand. It wasn’t all due to what he did as a POW!

91Veteran

Good point about vetting groups.

I doubt many in the media thought beyond wondering why the VFW, DAV or Legion would need to be vetted though.

Crazy elf

@91Veteran,
That’s because the asswipes in the “Far Left Wing Nut Liberal News Network Medias” don’t give a rats ass about veterans! Or how VSO’s are ripping off the American People!

namnibor

It’s those damn hats, I’m telling you! Put any silly hat on a VSO and they somehow are immediately as trustworthy as the usher at the church passing the tithe collection plate with a five-finger discount.
Hats with tassels seem to be the secret. Worked for monkeys and organ grinders too. 🙂

Dennis

I predict the next scam to be when America learns that the label “Vienna Sausages” was invented soley because “Soylent Green” became simply unmarketable after Charlten Heston spilled the beans about it. Off topic maybe, but I wanted to be informative in responding to your question.

namnibor

“uranus corporation presents Brown 25.”

“”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=008BPUdQ1XA””

namnibor

“At The Uranus Corporation, things come-out a little differently”

Jay
First, let me offer my condolences to Ben and his family. Second, (My disclaimer) I shouldn’t be anywhere near a financial statement. Although I did reviewed the 990’s submitted for years 2010-2014 and I wouldn’t have donated to IAVA. My rule of thumb is, if a charity spends more than 30% of its annual take on operating costs then it’s a no go for me. In year 2014, Rieckhoff’s salary increased to over $100k while total revenue increase by approximately… Read more »
Dennis
jay, It is impossible for a large scale organization to pass along much more than about five percent of total revenues to the destination groups. I remember years ago the fraud in Salvation Army. Remember the luxury yacht(s) available for “free” use of their officers? At that time they successfully argued that 5% to the destination was a generous effort in light of the “honest” expenses needed to maintain a high quality executive staff (sound familiar VA?). Truth is that… Read more »
disgruntled veteran
ben outstanding article carpal motor nerves really bad today dennis makes great points concerning charities as do 91veteran anuttervet and others i sent iava my potus letter over a year ago they did not deem it worthy enough to even read it occurs to me that were i head of a vso i would want my organization to help all veterans i as the head of the org would only take salary and bennies equal to that of an e9… Read more »
namnibor
@disgruntled veteran– Glad to see you here again. Take the time to properly ‘train’ that new voice recognition software and report back on how it works out for you please? I am embarking on writing a manuscript and am considering a voice recognition software eventually, but am still on the outline stage at this point. It’s a cathartic process in and of itself. Too private to do some word press blog and also I do not trust the rat bastards… Read more »
disgruntled veteran

always here nam i read every article and comment thanks for your response i had dragon but quit working when forced windoze 10 upgrade that was how i would draft my posts then copy paste into ben web form yes it does require training but much easier and more efficient for me back commenting on daily basis asap

namnibor
I have purposefully remained in Windoze 7, mainly because most of the audio editors and programs I have are not fully supported or not at all on Win10, and I also do not like the user interface of Win10. Not afraid of change, just if I wanted a laptop that looked like a phone, I’d use a big phone. Also, it’s important for me that the voice recognition software will allow me to use MS Word. it’s what I like… Read more »
Dennis

I honestly remember mastering the slide rule in eight grade to do all the basic math operations lolz. Not ONCE did my slide rule ever lock up or stop working! And they all said technology would set us free? Bah!

ANutterVet
@Disgruntled Veteran- Hey Brother, good to hear from you. I can remember the frustrations that I experienced, and still do, when we first so called “upgraded” to Win 10. We were running Win 7 then went to 8.0, and then to Win 10. What a mess. And, like Nam, I sometimes wish we stayed with Win 7. From my experience in learning the interface of Win 10, this will take a little time. But, with your background, this should be… Read more »
Don Karg

02/23/2017

Re: IAVA Corruption

Dear Benjamin Krause,

Why am I not surprised at this event?

Why am I not surprised at the bailout/buyout of the University [80%]?

Why am I not surprised at the silence in this city?

Why am I not surprised at the “citizens” saying Trump is not their President?

How long are your readers going to wait until their country is gone?

Sincerely,

Don Karg

Dennis

Answer to

Question 1) because you see the world as doomed.
Question 2) because you were educated in public school.
Question 3) because your hearing aid batteries are dead.
Question 4) because you speak spanish.
Question 5) after you are gone.

Keep the questions rolling in!

Dan F

Aren’t these the same guys that refused any money from Trump when he did that benefit during the campaign instead of participating in that one debate? Maybe, just maybe, they were worried about a large donation and how it would be tracked? Just sayin.

Crazy elf

It looks like the Federal Government is going to do something about people receiving “medical Marijuana” – and it doesn’t look good!
I’ll post something on as soon as I can!

ANutterVet
@Crazy elf – I was just waiting for someone, like you, to post information about Medical Marijuana. I’m a strong proponent offering this as an alternative, compared to lining the pockets of big Pharma only. The other area for treating pain, PTSD, anxiety, etc., is occurring as I write this post. This has to do with the many Veterans stuck in the upside down pyramid of prescribing pharmaceuticals. As you’re aware, the VA has been implanting a drastic change, they… Read more »
namnibor
Ohio’s new law that will not be up and running until end of 2018, is the most restrictive in USA. Just read the PDF notes and each caregiver/Dr. in Ohio is ONLY ALLOWED to have -2- Medical MJ patients registered at ANY SINGLE TIME, and that can only be appealed if and when a patient is in hospice AND they have to have confirmation they only have 6 MONTHS to live…and only 2 caregivers/dr’s can be associated with any 1… Read more »
ANutterVet

@Namnibor – There are so many restrictions in Ohio that you can’t even understand it. They will waste money trying to make sure that all prescribers abide by the State’s policies. I’d say, it might as well be a good idea to make the move. Watch your beans. If they can, they’ll take those as well.

namnibor
Further reading of PDF of notes of Feb. meetings, there’s stipulation and requirement of a Veteran to show their DD214 as also extra enticement, the lucky Veteran (remember only 2 MMJ patients per living breathing Dr.), as a Veteran you can “apply” to have the yearly MMJ Card Fee waived, and you are allowing the Veteran Affairs to review all prescribing…yep, it’s in the nitty gritty…nowhere that the VA would actually prescribe, just a way of tracking we Veterans as… Read more »
Crazy elf

Correction;
It wasn’t about “medical marijuana” Sean Spicer, White House Spokesperson, was asked about. It was “Recreational Users” of pot!
From;
“End Times Prophecy News”
Brother Jim reporting.
Titled:

“Uh oh! Marijuana users could be in trouble!”

23 Feb. 2017 (10:58 min. long)

I agree. “Medical Marijuana” should be an alternative for chronic pain! Also, for those with “terminal illnesses”!
Can anyone see the “benefits” of “recreational marijuana use”?

Lastly, I didn’t mean to start a ‘firestorm” over this!

ANutterVet

@Crazy elf – No firestorm. Like you stated, there is a big difference between recreational use and for medical purposes. I don’t totally agree with the recreational use policies. Sorry for helping to rock the boat. LOL Cough, cough.

Crazy elf

@ANutterVet,
I also agree with you on use of medical marijuana for a host of other medical problems civilians AND veterans face every day!
I believe there is evidence that medical marijuana DOES in fact help those inflicted with PTSD!

Of course, the VA will not allow veterans that choice. Because, the federal law prohibits any form of marijuana to be used!
This will be the biggest hurdle for this administration!

Dennis
The benefits of ending prohibition of marijuanna are well documented. Prohibition of pot in America was never a reality until the thirties and it has been a ghastly expense to America trying to enforce the restriction of a weed that grows easily in any pot under the sun. I worked at an airport as a young pilot that fuelled the helicopter the government had contracted to “sniff” out marijuanna patches from the sky using thermal heat signatures. The government (i.e.… Read more »
Alex Graham
Benbo, Be careful. This is just exactly like my foray into the Wounded Wallet Program’s “Benefits Sharing Program among the hierarchy”. Be sure you use words like “reputed, alleged, rumored and purported” in touching on facts cited. They walloped both Dean Graham up in Indiana as well as me. I heard tell they dinked some others over name similarity. If IAVA is descending into the maelstrom of public rebuke, ol’ Lt. Paul might go NASDAQ and start tossing lawsuit grenades… Read more »
Dennis
Grenades are indiscriminate. Tossing one might just bite the tosser. I am sure that a lawyer like Ben appreciates the grammar citations, but I have to wonder who would be stupid enough to try to lob a random grenade at Ben’s foxhole? Let us take inventory – Ben has directly aided over 25,000 veterans, has a national internet audience that likes and supports him, has direct and personal contact with high ranking government officials, and he himself is a lawyer… Read more »
namnibor

Egos and Asses get confused all the time but their locality on the body remains consistent in such egomaniacs that are smooth operators in raising that cash…imagine Benjamin would win blindfolded & hog-tied. 🙂

Ex va

@ namnibor, well stated as per norm. Thank you.

Jo3n

glad you are back Ben, sorry about wife’s Mom. Again, Veterans and those who support Veterans, are being scammed again. What happened with the Wounded warrior scheme? I’m embarrassed by it. I take this personal.

LittleSandyRiver
Am hoping things will go better with you and family, Mr Ben Krause. I enjoy your posts, articles and all the articulate matters and responses that fuels the follow up conversations. I attempted several volunteer positions, one with veterans, and realized that so much time and energy went into serving that I had no time nor energy left to take care of my home and those at home. For me, serving just one vet on a daily basis was/is my… Read more »
Ex va

@ ANutterVet, @ cj, you guys up? Reading responses, some funny ones.

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