How Was Veterans Affairs ‘Unaware’ Of Thomas Burch Fundraising Scheme?

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VA Lied To CNN McDonald Burch

Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson

Veterans Affairs says it was unaware VA attorney J. Thomas Burch, Jr. was raising millions as president of the worst charity veterans charity, his second job.

That charity was called National Vietnam Veterans Foundation (NVVF), and its mission supposedly involved helping homeless veterans. But when CNN conducted its investigation, it learned very little of the millions raised each year actually went to veterans.

Bob Dole Thomas BurchNVVF reportedly was named National Vietnam Veterans Coalition before it was named in a lawsuit with a telemarketing shell company called Telecom Telemarketing Services, Inc, back in 2001. The use of robo dialers continued under NVVF until Burch stepped down this month.

Making matters worse, VA now claims it was totally “unaware” of the millions Burch raised as president of the foundation, and apparently failed to notice his Rolls Royce parked outside VA with the vanity license, “MY ROLLS”.

RELATED: High-Ranking VA Attorney Runs ‘Worst’ Veterans Charity

J Thomas Burch JrVA acting Assistant Secretary and head of public affairs, James Hutton, asserts VA lacked awareness of his role as president in raising those millions:

“The VA, through a spokesman, said it had been unaware of Burch’s job as the president of the charity. In an email, VA spokesman James Hutton said Burch was still employed as a staff attorney but that an internal investigation, conducted by the agency’s Office of Inspector General, was still in progress.”

Is VA totally incompetent or are they lying about having knowledge of what Burch was doing? If what VA says is true, that would mean Burch falsified his conflict of interest disclosures to evade accountability over the past decade.

J THOMAS BURCH WITH VA SECRETARY

Making matters more sticky, there are pictures of Burch with former VA Secretary Jim Nicholson in the photo archive that chronicles Burch’s nonprofit work at his nonprofit.

Could this mean VA leadership knew Burch was involved in his nonprofits this entire time? Do numerous photos of high-ranking lawmakers, VA leaders and nonprofit heads signify VA is misleading the public now, or that VA is incompetent at ferreting out problems?

John Ashcroft Thomas Burch
John Ashcroft

 

RELATED: Will OIG Bust J Thomas Burch, Special Forces Phony?

BURCH TAKES ON MCCAIN, KERRY

Did VA not know what the whole planet knew for decades? In 2004, even the Chicago Tribune was aware of Burch’s fundraising and involvement slamming fellow Vietnam veterans running for the presidential office. Why would Burch attack the only two Vietnam vets with a shot at the presidency? According to the Tribune:

John Thomas Burch Jr. has been fighting the Vietnam War on many fronts.

An official at the Veterans Affairs Department, he has also overseen a lucrative but little-known veterans fundraising group and served as a Bush campaign surrogate willing to scorch war heroes on veterans issues.

In one notable incident during the 2000 Republican primary in South Carolina, Burch stood with George W. Bush at his side and accused Sen. John McCain of Arizona of opposing health care for Persian Gulf war veterans and blocking efforts to locate POW-MIAs, saying the former prisoner of war “came home from Vietnam and forgot us.”

That swipe at McCain “had to be one of the more outrageous things in American [political] history,” said former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, who supports Democratic presidential contender Sen. John Kerry. Bush embraced Burch at the event but a day later apologized for his surrogate’s caustic words.

Now, as the Bush campaign targets Kerry’s Vietnam-era record, Burch, a Vietnam vet too, appears poised to re-enter the campaign fray.

Last year, he registered the Internet domain names veteransforkerry.org and veteransforkerry.com (the domain names as published have been corrected in this text).

Neither Web site is up and running–it is not clear if Burch registered them to prevent Kerry from having the names or for some other reason. Burch did not respond to requests for comment.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Vietnam Vet An Old Foe Of Kerry

The world knew what J. Thomas Burch was up to but the Department of Veterans Affairs was “unaware”? Do you believe that for a second?

THOMAS BURCH STILL WORKING AT VA OGC

Newt Gingrich Thomas Burch
Newt Gingrich

So why is Burch being allowed to work at VA still? Why is he not on leave pending the outcome of the investigation like every other VA leader involved in a massive scandal?

Perhaps it’s because he is the head of VA OGC’s Freedom of Information Act program.

Or, is it because his other job is, according to him, VA Deputy Director of Homeland Security & Operations? Isn’t it misleading of VA to call someone with this position merely a “staff attorney”?

RELATED: The Vietnam Center And Archive At Texas Tech – Thomas Burch Photos

Take a look at those photos and let me know if you think Burch is a “staff attorney” at Veterans Affairs while computer call-bots were raising millions in the name of his charities.

Would a mere staff attorney have the clout to petition George HW Bush for a job as Under Secretary of the Army?

DOWNLOAD: J Thomas Burch Petition To HW Bush White House

What exactly is going on here?

BURCH PHOTO GALLERY SCRUBBED ON GOOGLE

Dole National Vietnam Veterans Coalition
Bob Dole

It used to be easy to search for the archive, but search bots appear to have scrubbed this photo archive from Google searches after the Burch scandal broke.

In fact, when you search for Burch online now, numerous websites and resources that used to reference him are scrubbed from the web. Only press websites show up in searches now.

David Kaufman, the charity’s vice president, wrote to CNN about the matter this week. He says the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation “has severed all ties” to the organization’s president, Thomas Burch.

“Tom Burch has resigned from the Foundation and NVVF is shutting down completely, ” Kaufman. “All fundraising has ceased and the only thing being done is the distribution of blankets, personal care kits and related items in the warehouse.”

Again, in light of the scope of this scandal, and the millions of dollars raised but not directly spent on charitable purposes sufficient to evade scrutiny, why is Burch still working?

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2016/08/31/politics/national-vietnam-veterans-foundation-charity-out-of-business/

UPDATE:

September 2, 2016, 12:00 CST

VA Lied To CNN McDonald Burch

This morning, I received photos of Secretary Bob McDonald pinning a commemorative pin on J Thomas Burch while Burch was apparently functioning in his capacity as head of NVVF. Normal attire for a VA staff attorney would obviously be a suit and tie. The outfit Burch wore at this ceremony is the same one he wore whenever working in his capacity as NVVF president at events.

I published the story now. And I conclude based on the photos that VA did have knowledge of what Burch was doing at NVVF right up to the top brass at Veterans Affairs.

READ: VA Lied To CNN, McDonald Gave Award To Denounced Nonprofit Head

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47 Comments

  1. BURCH makes me sick! I am disgusted! you & your “friends” are exactly what makes me (VERY) reluctant to donate (ANY) $ to “charities” / foundations! i hope you die in that fucking rolls royce – a very prolonged, miserable DEATH!

  2. sad to me are the many homeless veterans he & his “charity?” failed. photo ops with big wigs and expensive cars appear more important to him. yeah i too quit donating to these vet orgs except the local ones that actually help homeless veterans.

    • Those photo ops are key to convincing people to donate, or key to trying to convince companies to do business with you because it looks legitimate…and you have access.

      In the early 1990s I was involved with a veterans group in Oklahoma. We looked into fundraising, and met with a guy at his house in Dallas. His office had all kinds of pictures of he and his wife with politicians or other famous people…made to look like they had access and were a legit fundraising company.

      The report he provided and what his group could do for us was convincing, but you had to overlook some pretty high percentages.

      On the trip home, the attorney with us thought it looked more like a money laundering operation.

      • I’m thinking more Dr. No. Boss Hog more likely to drive a Caddy or Lincoln because at least he has some good ol boy American Pride. This guy is just greedy, insecure, self-absorbed, and driven to exploit others to his own benefit at any cost, even (or especially) if they are fellow vets…

        Or perhaps Dr. Evil. His (now scrubbed) previous public persona gives him a not insignificant stench of incompetent evil D-bag. Boss Hog was a corrupt bully. This guy is a raving sociopath that the VA uses effectively to that end.

  3. My Friday Rant, short and sweet: Why is it with all the varied VA scandals that always affect Veterans and sometimes even kills them, we Veterans are always *short blips* in the main stream news, if even that *BUT* some overpaid football fool that every time he decides to sit down out of protest and disrespect to the USA National Anthem, he gets his shit plastered ALL OVER the news and at an even hum? WTF? Deport his ass!

    So the MSM finds it more *newsworthy* for some fool to publically disavow his allegiance to the USA while we are still at war, Soldiers dying, VA Is Lying, and Veterans Are Dying?

    I say airdrop that football player into an ISIS hot zone and see how that works for him? Yeah, this pisses me off to no end!

    Rant Out and sorry not as short as originally thought. Have a safe Labor Day and screw entitled football players!!

    • me too. i gave up watching these overpaid, overvalued players some years ago. more likely due to what i see at VA hospitals. guys & gals with horrific injuries, seen and unseen and few folks care unless they need someone to do the heavy lifting and dirty work.

      military competitions, airs shows and fleet weeks have always got my hair on my spine to standup and tingle and that inner pride. (at least those places that aren’t numb. 😉 )

      safe weekend to all,

  4. Today is Friday.
    We all knew something was going to hit the fan. Yet, I do believe this isn’t going to be the worst of it coming out today! I got a bad feeling, there’s other shit getting ready to hit the fan as well.

    Like most on here will probably say, Burch and all the politicians knew about his “Fake Ass Charity”.
    So, why isn’t the VA privy to this? Because, that’s the way VA has operated for decades. Their like Sgt. Shultz of “Hogan’s Hero’s “! “I see nothing, I hear nothing, I know nothing!” And yet they know everything!

    I’ll guarantee IF someone were to dig deep enough, there’s probably lots of pictures of that asswipe with Shinseki and probably McDuck, Gibson and a whole lot more ingrates!

    As far as that “Charity” giving out stuff to homeless veterans and shutting down. I got this feeling, all those millions of donations are going to be divided up amoung the few board members! Wasn’t one his brother? If I remember correctly, there were only 3 board members.

    I put this on Ben’s Blog yesterday. I think it’s worth repeating.
    From “Military Life”

    “Don’t Pity Wounded Vets or Use Them for Your Message”

    Aug. 31, 2016
    by Sidra Montgomery
    Look it up. It’s a great op-ed in my opinion!

    Like namnibor said, I thought this would be shorter. Only this kind of crap should be all over the news (MSM)! Why isn’t it?

    • The officials listed on their 990 in 2011 were Burch, President, Cronauer as Director, and some guy named Kaufman.

      I heard they had a board of directors, but I would have to see if it’s listed anywhere.

  5. Ben your question is rhetorical. Given the two roles you describe Mr. Burch would be the pointy tip of the VA coverup and retaliate spear. Via his FOIA role he can obstruct and withhold. His DHS role gives him access to to “domestic terrorism” tools with which to spy on, defame, and retaliate against whistleblowers and advocates deemed a threat to VA.

    He knows too much, like Rubens, Graves, Gibson, and any other number of senior VA leaders implicated in or turning a blind eye to misconduct – so he will be protected fiercely and at most retired with full benefits to take a job at a telemarketer firm working with his replacement.

    • You made a very good point. Burch is like a human conduit to all other agencies with the extra special ability to obstruct FOIA Requests. Running a scam of a charity. Conflicts of interests? Hell Yeah!

      VA ‘Unaware’??? The VA would be “aware’ if Burch **owed** the VA for services rendered. See how that works? 🙂

      • You make an excellent point as well. This is the implicit or “soft” corruption that drives much of DC these days… Smoke filled rooms are a thing of the pre 1920s social science (propaganda/PR) past. These days it’s better to pick someone with compromised ethics to do your dirty work while turning a blind eye to other self-serving activities due to the aforementioned lack of ethics.

        This is a dual function approach because you can always trust a scumbag to be a scumbag, and given the predilections of scumbags, they usually place themselves in highly compromised positions that make them perfect candidates to be placed in front of a bus. Self-serving, self-directing, self-discrediting misconduct machines who provide their own built-in plausible deniability because of an serial inability to avoid ethically compromising situations when it conflicts/coincides with self-interest.

        Hire a sociopath to behave like a sociopath and use the natural tendencies of the sociopath to accomplish incredibly terrible things with “hands off” plausible deniability. No conspiracy necessary.

    • You mention his DHS role. Hell even his FOIA role should require it, but I am curious as to who at VA vetted this guy for either sensitive position.

      One would think any credible background investigation which should have been done for his DHS role would have turned up his multi-year charity scam.

      It makes me wonder if he had to get a security clearance for access to or receiving certain information in his DHS role.

      • 99.9999% chance he needs a clearance for that job. However OPM wouldn’t look deep enough – as long as charity is in good standing with IRS and hasn’t previously been implicated in wrongdoing is as far as they will go.

        I’ve founded a (legitimate) 501.c3 in the past and am a cleared professional so have had to learn this area of law for myself.

      • I too have founded a 501c3 and am surprised the IRS is not interested after reading their 990s. They look a little slim on details.

  6. Ben asks in his article “Is VA totally incompetent or are they lying about having knowledge of what Burch was doing?”

    Clearly they are lying!!! After all that is what we have come to expect from the VA in all of it’s wrong doing.

    They certainly have scrubbed the internet on pic of Thomas Bruch.

    The following link leads to a pic of J Thomas Burch and Robbie McDonald after the reef Laying ceremony. Burch is in wearing an old uniform with his fake badge pinned on it with a safety pin. Both Burch and McDonald are grinning ear to ear over the millions coming in from Burch’s fake charity.

    Like the VA didn’t know. The photo clearly shows Robert McDonald the current Secretary doing a photo op with Burch to help with Burch’s sham charity.

    Note also in the photo the site it originated from was “disabledveterans.org”. That is because I linked it to this site when I posted a link to the picture back when the Burch story first broke.

    “https://www.google.com/search?q=burch+mcdonald&biw=1355&bih=954&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjitZnT4PDOAhUJ9WMKHcV1ANQQ_AUIBygC#tbm=isch&q=j+thomas+burch+robert+mcdonald&imgrc=mxv-3GTUgC-APM%3A”

    Also note the caption for the photo. “Secretary Bob McDonald pose with Foundation President Tom Burch after his pinning”.

    • Good one, Seymore Klearly!!! That is a classic caught with hand in Veteran Cookie Jar photo of our ‘fearless’ leader! Wonder how the worms will redefine this?

      On a similar newsworthy note, I saw on news yesterday that Wounded Warriors have a new CEO and he is a Retired Lt. General. The interview looked good but am thinking a lot of people have lost trust in donating to such groups, and now the VSO’s are making their ‘flocks’ also question, hence the “Save Our VA” campaign they are on with the Hildabeast at the helm and DAV and AL following with the piss buckets. 🙂

      • Hey Namnibor,

        In Ben’s article he states and quotes the part of a statement from the VA stating; “VA acting Assistant Secretary and head of public affairs, James Hutton, asserts VA lacked awareness of his role as president in raising those millions:

        “The VA, through a spokesman, said it had been unaware of Burch’s job as the president of the charity.””

        As the photo shows James Hutton is a lying piece of $%#@**. Certainly his boss knew since he was doing photo ops to promote the sham.

        Also note in the picture that is Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary, behind McDonald. He is there for the sham ceremony to Honor the friken conman Burch.

      • That’s a fitting description.

        Hillary and VSOs as the piss boys.

        Although I don’t think any VSO would hesitate to go after the coin dropped in their bucket as Mel Brooks did.

      • I’ve also noticed the VSO’s “flocks” have started to question,
        “Just what the hell has State and National actually been up to, where VA corruption is concerned?”
        Seems to me those ‘bar flies’ are waking up!

    • If you go to the link listed above and view the picture you will note on that there are options 2 links with the options of “Visit page” and “View image”.

      The “Visit page” link leads to Ben’s article;

      “Will OIG Bust J Thomas Burch Jr, A Special Forces Phony?”, by Benjamin Krause,
      May 25, 2016 by Benjamin Krause, “DisabledVeterans.Org”

      At:

      “https://www.disabledveterans.org/2016/05/25/is-j-thomas-burch-jr-a-special-forces-phony/”

      The second link “View image” lead to The photo gallery at J Thomas Burch’s sham charity that had the image on display. Although it now leads to an error page for the website.

      At: “https://nvvf.org/photos/Photos%20for%20website/P1000816.JPG”

      Because I posted that link in the comment section on this website under the comments for Ben’s prior articles they filed a complaint against me for copyright infringement. They then tried to have me blacklisted by my internet provider for posting the link in an attempt to force my internet provider to block my account from accessing the internet.

      Going after a Veteran who has not only been crippled, disabled and condemned to every day experiencing pain and the limitations of my disability due to that pain for the remainder of my life. Because I was foolish enough to trust the Veterans Administration with my health care.

      Attacking me for posting a link to several conman who are ripping off millions of dollars every year.

      • Burch needs to have someone place a nice hunk of limburger cheese in his Rolls Royce’s air intake vents for a gift that keeps giving. (not that I have ever done this, read about it…)

      • From movie clips I can think of a couple other things Burch needs. One is where he climbs into to his rolls closes the door and turns the key then …

        Another is when he is sitting at a computer checking his bank account and he finds his grand daughter Hailey has made off with his millions. He then grabs his chest and keels over.

    • This is Mr. Wilson, again and I’d like to “thank” the vet who provided the information about the “pending class action and the attorney’s name etc. Be advised that the ” V.A.” Will do underhanded things to silence future plaintiff’s in any litigations that reveals to much liability!!! Is there a phone number for this attorney?? Vets!!! To deal with the V.A. alone…is “PTSD”. I’M 60-YRS OLD. BEEN FIGHTING WITH THE V.A. SINCE OCTOBER 1974…THERE MOTIVES ARE TO WAIT US OUT TO “” DEATH”.SO MANY VETS HAVE DIED IN WARS.. HOWEVER THE V.A.’S POLICY IS A DEATH SENTENCE WITH THAT “” WAITING LIST””OF PROCRASTINATION. NEVER STOP THE FIGHT!! AND ALWAYS TELL YOUR FAMILIES EVERYTHING BECAUSE THEY HAVE RIGHTS AS WELL. 42-YRS AND COUNTING ON THAT “WAITING DEATH LIST”.

      • You mention PTSD. If your not service connected now

        You can contact my attorney Kenneth carpenter out if Topeka Kansas

        Look under charter carpenter

        He speciality is PTSD. Va denied me disability since 1973 and with in 6 month’s. I was rated 100 percent perment and total unemployable.

        If.you hire him make sure you ask for all your back pay.

        Hope this helps

      • Hey Terry Wilson,

        If you look on the left hand side of your screen there is a Contact link. I am sure Ben can provide you that information.

    • just imagine how many of our comrades could have been house with those funds, not to mention the additional help we could have received.

      • Yep. Anytime I read about this kind of fraud and corruption and there’s still just one homeless vet out there, it tears me up inside that folk like Burch gloat and float on top of their gravy boat called the V.A. Titanic.

      • Of course. They Deny deny veterans claims on purpose. So the VA can spend that money on themselves

        Veterans are dieing because of this ploy. Shut down the VA and the homeless will have a home

        Veterans. Would not have to kill themselves or others will not be able to kill them

        The VA Is a veterans worse nightmare

        Hell not only veterans would receive their deserved disabilities

        The United State’s would be debt free

        And veterans would not be punished by an illegal committee

        The disruptive committee where they punish and then threaten the veterans with federal charges and arrest and banishment from all VA care. !
        The lieing would stop and we could live the rest of our lives In ✌

  7. so dam tired of people like him taking advantage of our donations. they all need to be brought to trial and have veterans as their jury

    • Somebody needs to drive that Rolls Royce up Burch’s ass that way he can see it better cuz his head is already up there

  8. In Ben’s article he has a section titled “BURCH PHOTO GALLERY SCRUBBED ON GOOGLE”.

    Just got done checking the Internet Archive’s Way Back Machine. All the photos have also been scrubbed from there also. I have never seen the Way Back Machine scrubbed like this.

    For anyone who doesn’t know what the Way Back Machine is. The way Back Machine is the public access point for the Internet Archives who’s stated goals is to archive all webpages on the internet while maintaining periodic updates to maintain a record of webpages throughout their history on the web.

    Using the WayBack machine a person can go back and see what the webpage was like on dates throughout the history of the webpage.

    After Checking the WayBack machine it still records and maintains all the pages for the “https://nvvf.org/” website but all of the photos have been removed. Also all of the pages that lead to specific photos have also been removed.

    For example here is a link to the WayBack image for August 12th, 2016.

    “https://web.archive.org/web/20160812044740/https://nvvf.org/gallery4.html”

    If you click on any of the listed Gallaries you get a message that says “Hrm” that page wasn’t archived.

    Which is bunk because I used the WayBack to view all of the recorded images not long ago.

    All of the photos have been removed.

    I guess censorship is in full swing in the United States and only getting worse.

    • If you do an image search on Google using J Thomas Burch, you still get quite a few returns showing the pictures.

  9. Ben in your update you state “I published the story now. And I conclude based on the photos that VA did have knowledge of what Burch was doing at NVVF right up to the top brass at Veterans Affairs.”

    While that is definitely true I would like to point out that it still goes higher. That is Josh Earnest, while he was the White House Press Secretary, behind McDonald.

  10. The VA claiming they did not know that Burch ran a veterans charity outside his employment is a blatant lie.
    NVVF was founded by Burch in 1992. I believe initially to compete with the VVA, Vietnam Veterans of America, and their foundation, VVF. It didn’t take long for Burch to jump on the Gulf War veteran bandwagon to use that as a fundraising vehicle. It didn’t take long before a spin-off was created as the National Vietnam Veterans Coalition was formed to include Gulf War vets. It also went by the names National Vietnam Veterans Coalition Foundation, NVVC Special Projects, and Veterans Foundation.
    Interestingly, a blog post from 2015 on newtoseattle dot com by William Barrett shows the NVVF also went by the name American Veterans Support Foundation. The blog post provides significant detail on Burch and his scams. Other net searches show a number of complaints about their fundraising practices, including one on greatnonprofits dot org from 2014 by a Vietnam vet which suggests Burch was providing trinkets and advertising in VA hospitals, then contacting those veterans for donations.
    The Secretary of State web site for Washington has detail on them, including a phone number which may be a cell phone. Doing a search on that phone number shows it tied to several addresses around Washington, DC.
    Their IRS form 990s can be downloaded from projects dot propublica dot org, and their 990s show an address for the NVVF as 1015 N Pelham Street in Alexandria, VA…which is a house.

    Doing a search on that street address shows it tied to the Burch and Cronauer P. C. Legal Services firm, listed as a “branch location”.

    Does the name Cronauer sound familiar? It should. Its the name of Adrian Cronauer of Good Morning, Vietnam fame. According to wikipedia, Cronauer was disbarred in 2014 for “misleading consumers, through misrepresentations and deceptive and fraudulent loan modification and foreclosure prevention practices”.
    A Google street view of that address shows no sign of a Rolls Royce in the driveway.

    Oh, and the 990 I looked at? It shows total revenue for 2011 of a little over $4 million, with an expense of $3.1 million for professional fundraising.

    They also list an asset which is a “Portrait of Napoleon”, valued at over $4300.

    They list giving $29,554 as monetary assistance to economically distressed veterans and/or veterans families for necessities. This is the 990 listing his brother as a recipient.

    I knew NVVF, NVVC was a scam in the 90s. I found this after a few minutes searching.

    What the hell is taking the VA IG so long?

  11. All I keep seeing here is yes they lie, yes they steal, yes vets die because they kill. Yet, not one of our elected officials give a damn. Is there anything Ben that can touch any of them? For years, I read, but have no clue of any action I can do. I feel like my efforts are like trying to hold the Titanic up. What can I do to sink the damn ship from hell?

    • At this point the iceberg and V.A. Titanic have become one unit until the light of accountability melts that iceberg of corruption and brings the ship down. Right now the iceberg is the glue keeping the hull sealed. We are that spotlight.

      However, like the Borg in Star Trek, they self-repair and replicate fairly fast and that’s what we are up against. It’s not entirely futile, just frustratingly exhausting.

  12. You can not stoup much lower than scamming Veterans in the name of Veterans!

    I just want to know if this Scumbag is going to be prosecuted by DOJ,FBI or some agency with a pair of Balls!!!

    Semper Fi till I die

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