Attorney General summons ‘Sandbox Veterans’ to court

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Indiana Attorney General has summoned the ‘Sandbox Veterans’ to court in an attempt to get its financial records, among other documents. State officials initially started looking into the group’s legitimacy following a series of 15 Finds Out investigations.

“Volunteers” with the Sandbox Veterans panhandled donations from drivers around Fort Wayne for close to three years. They told NewsChannel 15 the money went to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with PTSD. However, many in the community have questioned where the money was really going. The group has emphatically declined to comment on its nonprofit organization and the dissolved its nonprofit standing with the state following 15 Finds Out‘s series of investigation that started in February 2014.

Leaders with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office watched the stories and heard from a handful of residents who filed formal complaints against the Sandbox Veterans.  Abby Kuzma, director of consumer protection for the AG’s office, told NewsChannel 15 in February that it was enough for leaders to launch an investigation.

Related | Previous Coverage of the Sandbox Veterans 

On March 25, the AG’s office sent a written request for information to the Sandbox Veterans as part of an investigation to determine if the organization violated the Nonprofit  Corporation Act or the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. The document was sent via Certified Mail and delivery was confirmed on March 27. The deadline to send everything back to the AG’s office in writing was April 18, 2014.

See a copy of the request sent to the Sandbox Veterans in March. 

The request asked the organization to answer several pages of questions and provide several documents. Among the information, the organization was asked to provide:

  • The identities of those who had been involved in the Sandbox Veterans
  • Information on any financial accounts
  • Information on fundraising and promotional events
  • An outline of where the donations went and a detailed description on how the Sandbox Veterans carried out its purposes

The Sandbox Veterans failed to comply with the request from the AG’s office in March. On Friday, the complaint was filed asking the court to force the organization to comply with the request for information.

When contacted for comment on Friday, the AG’s office sent the following statement:

The Office of the Attorney General is investigating Sandbox Veterans, and has requested necessary information from the Respondent.  Because the Respondent has not cooperated, the Attorney General has been forced to file the petition to enforce our civil investigative demand, and to seek a court order for compliance.

The Allen County Circuit Court has not yet set a date for the Sandbox Veterans hearing. Roger Locke is listed in the summons. He was formerly listed as the head of the group.

 

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