AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A veterans' organization banned in South Carolina and fined in Tennessee now is named in a lawsuit brought by authorities in Texas where it has been operating in several cities for years.
The Texas Attorney General's Office announced Friday that the Veterans Support Organization is a defendant in a suit filed this week alleging the group falsely claimed donations would benefit Texas veterans.
Authorities contend VSO raised more than $2.5 million in Texas from 2010 to 2012. They say most of that was raised through "structured panhandling" in which VSO sent indigent veterans to stores in Austin, Dallas, Houston and elsewhere soliciting donations.
But the suit says most of the money went out of state.
It also argues veterans were evicted from a housing program if they couldn't afford the rent.
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The Texas Attorney General's Office says the defendants conducted their unlawful solicitations in numerous counties statewide, including Bell County. Read more about the lawsuit here