July 25, 2017
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced a Notice of Intended Action and Cease and Desist Order against Healing American Heroes, Inc. of Round Rock, Texas and its professional fundraiser Jeremy Squire & Associates for over a million violations of the Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act. Violations included deceptive solicitations and diversion of funds raised to other purposes. Over 10,000 donations – totaling more than $200,000 – were received from Michigan donors.
"This group systematically exploited thousands in Michigan and hundreds of thousands nationwide who wanted to help wounded service members," said Schuette. "Our troops deserve better; our citizens deserve better."
Healing American Heroes came to the attention of the Attorney General's Charitable Trust Section through an audit of its charitable solicitation registration and IRS Form 990. The Charitable Trust Section questioned certain statements on the IRS Form 990, requesting Healing American Heroes' solicitation materials for review, and requested information regarding its supposed charitable activities. The charity's responses revealed numerous violations.
In 2015, Healing American Heroes, fundraising under the name Help Our Wounded, raised $2.6 million by sending nearly five million deceptive mailings nationwide. The mailings included between one and three phone cards and made statements such as the following:
The Notice of Intended Action alleges 1,127,590 violations against Healing American Heroes and 1,116,538 violations against professional fundraiser Jeremy Squire & Associates. It also orders the charity and the fundraiser to cease and desist these violations, giving them 21 days to resolve the matter or face a civil action in court. Concurrent with the Notice of Intended Action, the Attorney General is also issuing a Notice of Intent to Deny Healing American Heroes’ fundraising registration.
Over the last year, Attorney General Schuette’s Charitable Trust Section has ramped up its enforcement of Michigan’s law prohibiting deceptive charitable solicitations.
Below are Michigan’s six charitable solicitations fraud actions within the past year:
Complaints regarding charitable solicitations may be filed through the Attorney General’s online complaint form, or by mailing the Charitable Trust Section at P.O. Box 30214, Lansing, MI 48909-7714, or by emailing the Charitable Trust Section.
To assist individuals in making wise decisions regarding which charitable donations to support, Attorney General Schuette established an online searchable database for charities. The Attorney General also publishes an annual professional fundraising charitable solicitation report, available on the Attorney General website. The Attorney General's Charitable Trust Section is also available at 517-373-1152 to answer inquiries about a charity.