The Attorney General’s office is suing a company in St. Louis for its refusal to turn over nearly $40,000 for honor flights to Washington D.C. that never happened.
Chief Counsel of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division Joe Bindbeutel calls it an egregious transgression, which is why why the Attorney General’s Office wants a quick end to this case so that the money can go toward its intended use.
“Two of the veterans that were scheduled to go on that flight have since passed away,” Bindbeutel said. “They won’t get an opportunity to visit the memorial and honor their brothers and sisters that fought alongside them. That’s why we took the lead in this case. Because we believe this was such an egregious situation where our war veterans were promised flights, there were scheduled flights, and those flights act had to be cancelled. That was not a situation we were going to leave to the private parties involved.”
He says the squabble has been going on for some time, and “that’s not a position we want our veterans in … that’s not why people contributed to this charity.”
Attorney General Chris Koster today sued Kendallwood Hospice Company in Kansas City for its refusal to return $39,878 belonging to Honor Flight Network of Kansas City, Inc. According to Koster, Kendallwood Hospice Company agreed to hold donations for Honor Flight Network of Kansas City in a separate bank account. As part of the agreement, the president and the treasurer of Honor Flight Network of Kansas City could withdraw funds to pay for veterans to visit memorials in Washington, D.C.
The suit alleges that in February 2013, without notice to Honor Flight, Kendallwood removed Honor Flight’s president and treasurer from the signature card for the account, leaving Honor Flight unable to access their funds. In response, Honor Flight terminated its arrangement with Kendallwood Hospice Company on March 23, and directed Kendallwood to transfer all remaining Honor Flight funds to the National Honor Flight Network. Despite repeated requests from Honor Flight, Kendallwood has still refused.
Koster says Kendallwood Hospice closed the bank account holding Honor Flight donations of at least $39,878.72, and opened a new account at a different bank with a Cashier’s Check in same amount. As part of today’s lawsuit, the Attorney General obtained a temporary restraining order freezing $39,878.72 of Honor Flight donations within the new account.
Koster’s lawsuit accuses Kendallwood of engaging in deceptive and unfair practices, improper use of charitable gifts, and violating Missouri law governing non-profits. The suit asks the court to demand Kendallwood Hospice distribute all funds collected on behalf of Honor Flight as well as pay civil penalties and court costs.
In addition to World War II veterans, Honor Flight focuses on helping terminally ill veterans from the Korean and Vietnam Wars see their respective memorials.
For more about the program, visit http://honorflight.org.
The next trip scheduled by Central Missouri Honor Flight — http://centralmissourihonorflight.com — is Oct. 15.
For information on honor flights in the Kansas City area, visit http://www.heartlandhonorflight.org, and in St. Louis, http://www.gslhonorflight.org. The Greater St. Louis Honor Flight program takes flight Oct. 8, and has another trip set for Oct. 22.