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Author Topic: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts  (Read 9095 times)

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Offline DoggyDaddy

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VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« on: June 24, 2007, 05:36:14 am »
When the Commander, trustees, House Committees, and membership is weak and turns a blind eye, corruption is likely to occur.  Why ???  is it we never read in our VFW magazine or Department Newspapers of VFW Posts or Officers being caught dirty.  Be it illegal gambling, insurance fraud, selling liquor to non-members, missappropriation of funds, failure to conduct meetings in accordance with By-Laws and Ritual, theft of Post property and other inappropriate activities ?.  It is not even discussed in generalities to warn members of possible pitfalls.

Many crimes get into the local newspaper and now also on the internet.  Members should not have to read the story in their paper or rely on the internet to find out about their VFW Post.  You won't find mention of the news articles or the problems of the Post or Club in the VFW Department website or Web blog, nor that of the Post involved.

 I feel that Departments should openly inform its Districts and Posts of the Problems of violating gambling and state liquor laws, not to mention violations of the duties of the Quartermaster and Post Officers and Committee members failure to do their duties of which they were elected and took an oath to perform.  This can be done by regular mail to Commanders or V-Mail to restrict access just to the VFW membership. If they do this instead of being secretive  and worrying  about their embarrassment, other Posts with similar problems would be encouraged to cleanup their Posts before they get caught.  People do learn from the actions of others.

 In the military, when a person received non-judicial punishment - Article 15 or Captains Mast, or a court-martial, it was posted for all to read and know.  When displinary action is imposed by Departments and/or VFW National, the information should be passed along to Departments and Post by V-Mail.   

Members take an oath to join the VFW and again when they take the position of office. Sharing information of Post problems will remind everybody they are not above the law or By-Laws and Ritual of the VFW.

8)  Now I have no objection to gambling, be it Bingo, Pull Tabs, Raffles, 50/50s, Casino Nights, Poker or Slot Machines as long as it is legal and  with the memberships approval.  Many Posts offer gaming in accordance with the laws, and do wonderful things for the community and VFW with the money they raise, unfortunately without proper oversight, there are Posts that are just the opposite and give other Posts a black eye.

 :o  EXAMPLES OF NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED ILLEGALITIES INCLUDE:


Police Bust Poker Operation of VFW Post 1837, Texas
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-pokerraid_19met.ART0.North.Edition1.434471a.html


Illegal Gambilng, Arson, Mail Fraud, and defrauding IRS involving Commander of VFW Post 1298 in Bowling Green KY.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_km4469/is_200611/ai_n17022997
http://www.bgdailynews.com/articles/2007/06/07/news/news8.txt
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/kyw/press_releases/PDF/06042007_Mudd_supersedingindictment_media%20release.pdf


Illegal Gambling involving Indictment of Quartermaster, VFW Post 4368, New Hampshire
www.cabinet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070419/MILFORD01/70419010/-1/milford01
www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2007/06/23/former_selectman_among_2_charged_in_vfw_illegal_gambling/


Missouri Gaming Commission disciplines VFW Post 6477 for four illegal gambling devices in its possession.
http://www.oa.mo.gov/ahc/case/VFW6477.04-0821GC.JSD.doc.
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:GFJFjl3fkHcJ:www.oa.mo.gov/ahc/case/VFW6477.04-0821GC.JSD.doc+vfw+gambling&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=11&gl=us&client=safari


FBI and IRS Uncover Gambling Empire at VFW, Bellville, Illinois.
www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,986663,00.html


VFW Post 8848 Cited for Gaming Violations, Bridgeport, Ohio
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:prTSVRNQ1aQJ:www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/news/2004/12290104.pdf+vfw+gambling&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=149&gl=us&client=safari


Citations issued to seven people for gambling related offenses at VFW Post 5362, Morgantown, NC.
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:vio69cymTzcJ:www.ncoah.com/hearings/decisions/osp/01%2520OSP%25201036-1548.doc+vfw+gambling&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=172&gl=us&client=safari


A suspension of VFW Post 2377's gambling license by the state revenue department in April left the VFW short on cash..
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-5066225_ITM


Thomas Venezia operated an illegal video gambling business, known as B&H Vending/Ace Music ... Illinois, including a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post.
http://www.usdoj.gov/osg/briefs/1998/0responses/98-0825.resp.opp.html


V.F.W. 9733, South Bend, IN fined and Renewal of Liquor Permit Denied.
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:wVz-ByFQhgYJ:www.in.gov/atc/meetings/pdf/minutes/2006/fof-Post9733.pdf+vfw+gambling&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=315&gl=us&client=safari


Liquor Law Violations of Alamogordo VFW, New Mexico
www.dps.nm.org/newsReleases/DPS/2004/DPSnewsRelease_02.04.04.htm


Quartermaster Defrauds Virginia VFW Post 2216 of $156,000.00
www.usdoj.gov/usao/vaw/press_releases/klausing_27oct2006.html
www.usdoj.gov/usao/vaw/press_releases/klausing_16jun2006.html

« Last Edit: June 24, 2007, 11:26:56 pm by DoggyDaddy »
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

Online IJK3770

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2007, 09:01:47 am »
Thanks for posting the links to the reports of illegal activities.  You are absolutely right in the fact that National and Departments should get the word out to all members (esp Post Officers) about what can happen if caught doing wrong.  Maybe these posts that seem to be unable to follow rules should have their charters yanked.  A mere slap on the wrist won't stop illegal activities.  Allowing these errant posts to continue to operate is a 'slap in the face' to those of us who are able to follow the rules.
Now,  how about some suggestions on what/how to corral these illegal activities.  Anyone have any suggestions??
Cheerily
IJK
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Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2007, 02:13:20 pm »
I think the first thing necessary is for the District Commanders to come forwarde and be open about problems with Posts within their district to their members.  This can be done by letter to be read by the Adjutants at meetings or by V-Mail.  We hear gossip and scuttlebutt of Posts having trouble, being investigated and placed under suspensikon with appointed Trustees taking over operations.

We recently discussed in another webcomPosting about the number of California VFW Posts that lost their Charters all at once.  It took us a number of days before we received some answers from people in the know.  Scuttlebutt and rumors can hurt the reputation of the VFW as a whole just as bad as being open and telling the truth.  How many have heard the  words, the VFW is just for drunks, or, the bar runs the post ???  I heard of 4 posts in my district that have problems and one under suspension.  What they did or failed to do I do not know. Maybe their quarterly Trustee report is questionable, they failed to pay their bond, creative accounting is suspected, maybe blatant violations of IRS, ABC or other laws.  All I have is here-say.  District meetings are quarterly and everyone is afraid to ask the questions or refuses to provide the answers.   

If elected and appointed officers and members receive basic reports of problems within the VFW and District and the displinary action/punishments imposed, I expect they will take extra effort to do what is proper.  8)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2007, 02:47:51 pm by DoggyDaddy »
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

swamprat

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 12:06:48 am »
if the vfw is a non profit organization how can a quartermaster buy a display case with his own money and put it in the canteen to sell products for his own profit? this has been goingon for awhile and because the members allow it state and national condone it. what hes doing is bad enough but some of the stuff is made in vietnam and thats what originally got me mad. he keeps bags of money in the safe that are not accounted for in the reports and all the trustees see is a one page print out and at the time of signing his reports not one trustee checks out the figures or ask any questions. he sales these vietnamese hats to other post in the district and convenience stores in the area but the post never sees anything on paper on the sales or profits. so is this still a nonprofit post?

Offline easingwr670

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 07:15:28 am »
The whole problem boils down to 4 people-
1st-The Commander. He/She by accepting the position becomes responsible the all activities in the post.
2nd-The three Trustees. They are responsible to the membership for the accountability of all funds and property gathered in the name of the post regardless where the funds/property are located. The quarterly report is the Trustee's eport not the Quartermasters or any one elses. The Trustees are responsible to fill it out and certify that the information is correct to the best of their ability. If their ability is not good enough, the membership can seek the assistance of a CAP.

I have been a QM and Trustee off and on since 1971 and the times I have held the position of Trustee, I allowed NOTHING to be locked away, I kept my eyes and ears open.

But remember, the overall responsibility to make sure that everyone is doing their jobs is the membership.
Richard C. "Dick" Easingwood
Past NC Administrator
VFW Member Since 1969
Life Member Since 1989(Gold Legacy)
District QM (6 Yrs Total)
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Past Post QM (12 Yrs Total)
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http://www.myvfw.org/nc/dist8

Offline Jerry P3150

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2007, 02:56:39 am »
Could someone explain what the Trustee is checking.  I can not find any guidance on how a Trustee is suppose to do their job.  Any suggestions.
Jerry Peterson
VFW Post 12101
Joined as a Life Member in 1994
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http://www.vfwwebcom.org/nv/post12101

Offline easingwr670

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2007, 06:58:45 am »
Section 218 Manual of Procedures "Officers and Chairmen, Duties and Obligations.
Sec 218(a)(11) Duty of Trustees--
I have always been taught - Do Not Explain- Let them read for them selves. It will last longer. ;D
Richard C. "Dick" Easingwood
Past NC Administrator
VFW Member Since 1969
Life Member Since 1989(Gold Legacy)
District QM (6 Yrs Total)
District Inspector
Past Post QM (12 Yrs Total)
Cootie CCDB 24 Yrs Total)
Asst Inspector General (2007 til     )
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JS418BG

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 11:04:46 am »
This is an old blog and since it is I am not going to comment here but rather start a new one related to the subject of improper management of canteens/clubs.  I hope that it will prompt considerable feedback because of the importance of a great veterans organization like the VFW to abide by the very rule of law that so many members have fought and died for. 

RetSgtMaj

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 02:08:31 pm »
One of the problems within Posts is that when there is something seriously wrong or improper be done by Officers of the Posts and it is brought to the attention of District, it is covered up in such a good  manner that it seems like nothing has even happened.  First if the District Commander decides to visit the Post during a general membership meeting, everything at that meeting goes according to the book and all problems are hidden.  The other problem is that the person who files the complaight with District is blackballed from the Post.  He is never welcomed or made to feel like a member anymore, only because he did what he thought was the right thing to do.  The "clans or cliques" of the Posts make sure of that.  When we have Post Commanders who have some backbone and intestinal fortitude to stand up to these individuals things will always remain the same.

JS418BG

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2008, 04:02:33 pm »
In Minnesota there are some undeniable facts related to Canteens/Clubs at VFW Posts.  All of the clubs in Minnesota that I can find information on have the club as a legal entity of the post, defined by the fact that the club is advertized or commercialized using the Post' name and/or number.  If there is a separate corporation set up for the club, then it would seem that it does not qualify as an exempt organization under the congressional mandate for service oriented organizations.  Corruption seems to start with a department or national VFW denial of anything to do with clubs/canteens.  These Posts/canteens/clubs use the good name of the VFW in their name.  I worked for over 41 years for a major multinational corporation and I can assure you that if a subsidiary anywhere in the world misused the corporations logo, and/or if any disrepute came as the result of the subsidiary and any illegal, unethical thing occurred where the name/logo of the corporation was tarnished that they would come down harshly on that subsidiary.  That is one reason that they usually have people from the home base in charge of the subsidiary (a good reason to have legitimate, impartial national/state oversight of these Posts).  In the case of the VFW it appears that the Posts are left to their own and little if any effort is made publically to correct things that tarnish the good name of the VFW.

So, in Minnesota, a Post cannot operate a canteen/club room (sell liquor, etc.) without a permit from the department, it would be assumed.  (He who giveth can (should) taketh away (if they don’t abide by the rules)).  The Minnesota Department Web Page has a listing of those posts that have permits.  That permit reads "“VFW Post ___ is authorized to use the name of the VFW of the US in operations of a club and lounge; the facilities of which will be restricted to the use of members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and their guests”.  It seems clear that what this means is that NO ONE BUT A MEMBER OR GUEST CAN USE THIS FACILITY....PERIOD!!!!!!  So, then why does the Department allow a permitted club/canteen to spend five and up to ten times as much for an intoxicating liquor license from their City when a Club license would suffice???   It seems ludicrous (and quite illegal and/or corrupt) that the Department would find that a Post that did this would not be considered in violation of the Department's by-laws.  Call them what you want but to ignore the operation of a club/canteen by the State and National VFW should, by the IRS and possibly other law making agencies of Federal and State government agencies, be considered grounds to withdraw the Charter as a service organization as established by Congress and th ey should first lose their tax exemption and second, have their VFW Charter taken away. 

Minnesota Statutes have provisions for Clubs (and particularly congressionally mandated service organizations like the VFW) to have a much reduced license for on sale of intoxicating liquor.  However, there is a stipulation.  This stipulation parallels the Department Permit, limiting sales of intoxicating liquor only to members and bonafide guests.  So, is it not placating corruption to ignore, or even encourage Posts to obtain regular intoxicating liquor licenses when both the Permit is so clear and parallels the Statute?    Of about 160 VFW Posts in Minnesota, only about 20 waste precious tax exempt income intended for charity to do what I call “avoid the law” by purchasing these, what I call, “we are open to the public” intoxicating liquor on sale licenses in order to avoid being pinched by the law for violating the Statute.  What I have said here is fact and verifiable and no one has said otherwise, period.  When the Post in question applied for a renewal of their license in March for another year I pushed the Department to direct the Post to force them to revert back to a club license and nothing was done.  I tried to use the City Council and Major to bring to light the issues surrounding the license.  I even communicated with the State Attorney General’s Office on the matter.  It is legal for the City to issue the regular license.  That I agree with.  However, it contradicts the Department Permit and they are allowed to do that.  That creates discrimination for Veterans, who are members, meeting the strict membership rules when they are required to sign-in when entering the club and anyone else can just enter.  When a member is in the club they have no idea of who is or is not a member, taking away all of the meaning of being a member of the “club” as part of the membership.  It opens the door to other types of discrimination.  For instance, if the club chooses not to want someone in their club, for whatever reason be it racial, sex or other reason, they can just chase them out without giving a reason, it appears.  Even though the intent may not be discriminatory, having this disparity, in what is believed by most to be a private club, opens the door to all kinds of law suits and lawyers love this kind of thing.

The membership needs to engage in these issues.  The National and State HQ’s must involve themselves in assuring that the good name of the VFW does not get tarnished by these local matters, that smell like corruption.  Too many Auxiliary members work too hard, nationwide, to build the reputation of the VFW, supporting their spouses, parents, etc.  than to let the leadership ignore these local issues.  Remember, the VFW is built on its roots in the community.  When the community ignores the rules, laws, etc., of what made this organization strong to begin with, then it is a real shame.
Here is an interesting fact.  Usually the Governor of Minnesota heads north to the resort areas for the fishing opener.  Next year he will do that locally at White Bear Lake.  The VFW has a beautiful Post right on the shores of White Bear Lake.  It appears that they run a good operation.  However…… They too have a Permit that reads as stated above.  However, they choose to pay TEN TIMES as much for what I call an “open to the public” intoxicating liquor license than necessary if they abided by the Permit language.  So, I guess that if the Governor goes into that club next year he can legally be there but he will be in violation of the Department Permit and I do not believe that the Governor is qualified to be a member of the VFW.  Maybe someone will take him in as a guest.  I h ope so.  Oh, by the way, the local American Legion Post in White Bear Lake, who take in as much income as does the VFW, have a “club”  ($500 versus $5,000) license.  By having this club license, even if non-members get in, causes the club operators to be more observant of who is in there, who is a member and who is a guest.  When they take the easy way out and just get a regular license they soon lose perspective of who the club is intended for.  Read my comments under (Mis)Management of Canteens/Clubs for more specifics of why I am on this crusade.

Offline easingwr670

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008, 04:55:36 pm »
I am beginning my third year as the District Inspector and if a problem surfaces, it is not swept anywhere but it is resolved one of several ways.
Normally, the problem is that the officers that are intructed to do the job do not understand what is expected of them. This becomes a training problem.
Some officers know what is expected but are too lazy. A verbal "kick in the butt" usually does the trick.
And then there are the very few that know better but do not correct the problem on purpose. The State can and does "fire" that person from the job and in some extreme cases take over until things can get better.
Keep in mind that some complaints are vindictive ones and there is, in fact, no problems. As an experienced inspector, I can get to the bottom of things.
District Commanders--When you appoint an inspector to it beacuse he/she can do the job not because he/she is a nice guy!
Richard C. "Dick" Easingwood
Past NC Administrator
VFW Member Since 1969
Life Member Since 1989(Gold Legacy)
District QM (6 Yrs Total)
District Inspector
Past Post QM (12 Yrs Total)
Cootie CCDB 24 Yrs Total)
Asst Inspector General (2007 til     )
http://www.myvfw.org/nc/dist8

stantheman

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2008, 10:10:47 am »
Hey the house committe needs to wake up and get off thier duffs and make the canteens walk the straight and narrow.  Starting with the canteen manager, rules are made to protect the post.  If the house committe cannot control what happens in the canteen then the commander should.  Too often you see people in positions who are guided by the ones below them and don't want to make anyone mad, they vascilate and are indecisive or too sympathetic.  Don't make anyone mad but make them aware and then if they don't like it it won't be a personal issue against anyone.

Offline wflo217919

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Re: VFW Posts no longer for war veterans
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2013, 09:42:52 am »
Most VFW's are no longer Posts that are truly what the title implies! Ladies Auxiliary, Men's Auxiliary members are running the Posts they are signing people in, thought only Members could do this? They are 95% people off the streets (Public),swearing is out of control, no longer family orientated!

Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2013, 10:42:50 pm »
The existence of Mens and Ladies Auxiliary comes about by the approval of the Post membership voting.  Auxiliaries are boosters/supporters of a Post and its' programs.  The existence of a canteen had to be approved by the Post membership. A House or Building Committee is responsible for establishing Canteen Rules and its' operations. The post membership is responsible for approving the Canteen Rules. I expect the Canteen Rules prohibit bad conduct, i.e profanity, fighting, harassment, drunken behavior, etc, and it is the bartender on duty's responsibility to enforce them. If someone is not doing their job, then you can take the issue to the Club Manager, House/Bldg Committee Chairman, or to the Post membership at the next general meeting.
If you have/discover a problem and do not address/report it to those in charge and the Post membership at a general meeting, then you are part of the problem and should stop complaining. 
Many Canteens operate within the By-Laws and Rules of the VFW, Post By-Laws, Canteen Rules and state ABC laws because the members who give a damn require it.
 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 06:25:26 pm by DoggyDaddy »
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

Offline kacal

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Re: VFW Illegalities and Corruption at Posts
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2013, 10:55:31 am »
well ststed DD
David Kacal
Msgt. (ret.) USAF
Post 3629 Fairbanks, Ak
Outstanding Comunity Service Post 4 out of 6 past years since having Men's Aux
All American Post 2010-11
Men's Aux. President 8yrs
Secretary 2 years
Treasurer 1 yr