Judge rules vets shel­ter must close

Con­tro­versy con­tin­ues to sur­round char­ity

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By ANDREW CEPHAS acephas@somd­news.com

Con­tro­versy con­tin­ues to sur­round the South­ern Mary­land Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion fol­low­ing a Fe­bru­ary cease­and-de­sist or­der from the Of­fice of the Sec­re­tary of State. A re­cent dis­trict court de­ci­sion will re­sult in the clo­sure of a build­ing cur­rently be­ing used by the or­ga­ni­za­tion to house vet­er­ans, and a for­mer as­so­ci­ate of the char­ity con­tin­ues to face a possi- ble jail sen­tence for em­bez­zle­ment.

The South­ern Mary­land Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion, along with the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s prin­ci­pal, Dan Bras­hear of Wal­dorf, and al­leged for­mer as­so­ci­ate Nor­man McDon­ald of La Plata, re­ceived a cease-and-de­sist or­der from the Mary­land Of­fice of the Sec­re­tary of State Feb. 17, ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous re­ports. This or­der al­leges mul­ti­ple vi­o­la­tions of the Mary­land Solic­i­ta­tions Act, in­clud­ing mis­lead­ing po­ten­tial donors to a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion, us­ing false and mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tis­ing in con­nec­tion with a so­lic­i­ta­tion and fail­ing to regis­ter with the sec­re­tary of state be­fore so­lic­it­ing.

The cease-and-de­sist or­der was is­sued fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Sec­re­tary of State’s Char­i­ties and Le­gal Ser­vices Divi­sion, aided by the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney General. In­ves­ti­ga­tors es­ti­mate South­ern Mary­land Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion col­lected thou­sands of dol­lars in cash and do­nated goods be­tween 2014 and 2015, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney General.

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