NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former employees say a veterans charity already under fire for how it raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tennessee handed out only a fraction of the money in the form of gift cards. They also say it threatened to fire workers if they didn’t meet fundraising quotas.
The Florida-based Veterans Support Organization has been criticized by other groups for how it uses donations raised outside retail stores and supermarkets. It had been fined by Tennessee for making false claims about the benefits it offered, and Connecticut lawmakers have called for a federal investigation.
However, former employees interviewed by The Associated Press shed new details on how the charity operated. Charity officials declined to answer questions about the workers’ claims. But they say they are focused on expanding into other markets so they can hire more veterans.
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