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Veterans’ charity accused of fraud

The state is suing a local veterans’ charity and its professional fund-raisers for allegedly using deceptive tactics, the attorney general’s office said Thursday.

The charity, Bay State Vietnam Veterans Inc., and the fund-raising company, Dynamic Marketing Solutions Inc., are accused of violating state charitable solicitation and consumer protection laws during a phone solicitation campaign.

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“We allege that these defendants took advantage of the public’s trust by knowingly misleading potential donors while soliciting money for veterans,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley.”

A telephone message left at Bay State Vietnam Veterans in Somerset was not immediately returned. John Chaves, president of the Dynamic Marketing Solutions, based in Rhode Island, declined to comment.

The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges that Dynamic fund-raisers, during phone solicitations, told potential donors that 100 percent of their donations would benefit veterans when only 15 percent actually went to them. Dynamic kept the other 85 percent, according to the attorney general.

The suit also alleges that Dynamic’s fund-raisers falsely stated they were volunteers for the charity and, in some cases, stated they were veterans returning from Afghanistan, Coakley’s office said.

The lawsuit seeks $5,000 in civil penalties for each deceptive act found by a court. Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders has issued a temporary restraining order barring the charity and its fund-raisers from transferring any funds they have raised and from destroying any fund-raising records.

Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at
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