Attorney Generals across multiple states worked to shut down a deceptive organization that exploits goodwill towards those in the military and misused funds that were supposed to benefit servicemembers serving overseas.
The settlement involves Hearts 2 Heroes Inc., a for-profit company doing business as Active Duty Support Services Inc., which made door-to-door sales of “care packages” ostensibly to be sent to servicemembers overseas.
Attorney General Mark Herring filed a suit against Heart 2 Heroes last summer. He alleged that the company violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and Virginia’s Solicitation of Contributions law by misrepresenting the nature of the business and the care packages purchased, and by misusing donated funds.
The lawsuit was announced as part of “Operation Donate with Honor,” a nationwide sweep to crack down on fraudulent charities that exploit the name of America’s veteran community to solicit donations.
As part of the settlement, the business has been shut down and the owners will be banned from engaging in charitable solicitations or working for a charitable organization.
“Organizations who prey on the kindness of Virginians and deceptively solicit donations from folks who are hoping to help veterans or servicemembers are shameful and should be held accountable,” said Attorney General Herring.
The settlement against Heart 2 Heroes was reached by Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The settlement includes a $286,959.95 restitution judgment against the now-defunct company, which will be suspended, but enforced if the other terms of the settlement are not complied with. Additionally, the states will receive a total of $10,000.
“I hope this settlement sends a strong message to other organizations that may have similar deceptive operations that they must follow through with their promises and be honest about where their money is going," said Attorney General Herring.