RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined a coalition of 11 states in securing a settlement with a Florida-based veterans’ charity called Healing Heroes Network, Inc. and its former directors.
The settlement resolves allegations of deceptive sweepstakes mailers and telephone solicitations to help wounded veterans.
Under the terms of the settlement, Healing Heroes Network, Inc. and the related organization Hero Giveaways, LLC to permanently cease all charitable solicitations to help wounded veterans, and its former directors, Stacey Spiegel, Allan Spiegel, and Neal Spiegel, have agreed to pay $95,000 to be provided to a veterans’ charity whose mission matches the representations made by the charity.
The Spiegels are banned for five years from overseeing, managing, or soliciting charitable contributions for any nonprofit organization.
The investigation revealed that donors contributed millions of dollars as a result of deceptive sweepstakes mailers and telephone solicitations.
The organization promised to use donations to help wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan receive medical treatments that the Department of Veterans Affairs did not readily provide. The charity also falsely claimed on social media in 2016 and 2017 to dedicate 100% of proceeds to wounded veterans.
The investigation revealed that very little of the charitable contributions received by the Healing Heroes Network were used to further this charitable mission. Instead, donations were used to pay professional fundraisers, online advertising fees, the salaries of Stacey Spiegel and her son, Neal Spiegel, and to purchase t-shirts from another family member’s t-shirt business.
Also, part of the settlement is Hero Giveaways, LLC, a business formed by Stacey Spiegel and Neal Spiegel after Healing Heroes Network, Inc. became the subject of a multistate investigation, and which continued the organization’s deceptive practices.
Joining Attorney General Herring in this settlement agreement are the states of Washington, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, and California.
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