Allied Veterans gave $500,000 to VA in Florida
Tampa Tribune, Fla.
TAMPA — An organization under fire after nearly 60 people were indicted on racketeering charges has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Department of Veterans Affairs operations in Florida, VA officials say.
Allied Veterans of the World, which runs nearly 50 Internet parlors with computerized slot machine-style games, donated about $500,000 between 2007 and 2010, according to Mary Kay Hollingsworth, a VA spokeswoman.
"As with any donations from individuals or organizations, these funds have been used to enhance our ability to provide services to Veterans enrolled for care in our facilities," Hollingsworth wrote in an email to the Tribune.
The operations of Allied Veterans sparked an investigation that led to the arrest of nearly 60 people. The investigation prompted Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to resign on Wednesday, though she has not been charged with any crime.
Investigators said the organization's executives gave little money to veterans and instead lavished millions on themselves, spending it on boats, beachfront condos and Maseratis, Ferraris and Porsches.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi called the alleged scam "callous" and "despicable" and said it "insults every American who ever wore a military uniform."