Seal of The South Carolina Secretary Of State
Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A charity that failed to register its employees and misrepresented the percentage of money spent on charitable programs has been banned and fined by the SC Secretary of State's office.
In a statement dated Tuesday, September 3rd, Sec. of State Hammond says the Veterans Support Organization, who worked as a charity in South Carolina since 2011, has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine to the state, and accept a ban from soliciting funds in the state for the next 15 years.
Earlier in 2013, the Sec. of State's office alleged the VSO had failed to register its employees as solicitors in the state, and misrepresented the percentage of funds donated going to charitable programs.
According to the Secretary of State's release, VSO employees typically wore military-style clothing when soliciting funds, but were not necessarily veterans themselves.
The organization's agreement to exit South Carolina includes no admission of wrongdoing.
"As part of this agreement, the Veterans Service Organization is prohibited from soliciting charitable contributions in South Carolina for the next 15 years," said Secretary Hammond. "I always ask South Carolinians to be vigilant anytime a charity asks for money, but in this case I have a special request. If you see the VSO soliciting in South Carolina, call our investigations division at (803) 734-1728. We need your help to protect the interests of donors and to hold accountable charitable organizations that violate the law."
Anyone with questions or concerns regarding a charitable organization may contact the Secretary of State's Division of Public Charities:
(803) 734-2170 or email: email@example.com.
To search all charities registered to solicit in the state of South Carolina go to www.scsos.com and click on "Charity Search."
To view a list of charities suspended from soliciting in South Carolina, click here or go to www.scsos.com, look for the "Public Charities" tab on the left; then "Suspended Charities" in the pull-down menu.