Anderson veterans group closed for unpaid taxes
Serious accusations are being made against a group that is supposed to help veterans and their families.
The door at the Anderson clubhouse of the Veterans of Madison County Club was locked with a warning not to reopen Wednesday. The warning sign was posted by the Indiana Department of Revenue.
There are reports the club did not pay its sales taxes on food and drinks they sold.
The tax issue is just one of the problems facing the not-for-profit veterans group, which is supported by its members from around the Anderson area.
Now, the Attorney General is filing suit on five of the group's officers.
"Basically, they committed financial malfeasance by using credit cards to buy things for personal use, rather than for corporate use," said Abby Kuzma with the Indiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.
The state alleges since 2008, some officers have used the group's money to buy gasoline for personal use, pay food and cell phone bills, even bought personal workout DVDs.
"Deposits that didn't get where they were supposed to be going. So we don't have records. The records were inaccurate, we don't have a good accounting," said Kuzma.
"We've got a lot of good members. Pretty much a total shock to all of us," says former group president Jerry Massey.
Massey, a Vietnam veteran, has been with the group for many years. He says it has given scholarships, supported construction of memorials and helped needed vets and their families.
He says the recent unpaid tax problem stems from the missing money. He doesn't think all those named in the lawsuit knew about what was allegedly happening with the group's cash.
"I can't say definitely they were using it personally. I only know it's gone. We don't have those funds to work with now but we will have them. It's just going to take us time," Massey said.
The group could reopen its clubhouse if it pays the unpaid taxes or begins a payment plan. The state can't say how far behind the group is in its tax payments.