Disabled vet charity under fire in Texas

A crime victim advocate and former prosecutor has requested that the Harris County District Attorney’s office look into a disabled veteran charity’s financial records after some veterans alleged shabby treatment by the organization and broken promises.

A blind veteran who died last year was living in a home that he had gotten with assistance from the charity and his own contribution of $50,000. The charity tried to take the home back after his death from cardiac arrest by using a buy-out option stating that if the vet died within 10 years of taking possession of the home, the charity could buy it back for the $50,000 veteran contribution cost.

However, the veteran’s family filed suit against the agency, saying that the buy-out option was invalid. The vet’s father held his son’s power of attorney but was not present when his son signed the papers. Due to his blindness, the former Army specialist was unable to read the provisions of the contract. The father also alleges that the reported $250,000 value of the home was inflated from the $170,00 listed on the contract. The agency had also promised to make the home accessible for the blind, yet failed to do so.

The family hired an investigator to review the charity’s financial records, but the administrators of the charity refused to allow him access. After being contacted by the Harris County District Attorney’s office, the charity administrators agreed to comply with Texas law that states the public may have access to their financial documents.

After the death of a loved one, relatives are saddened and often stunned and not thinking clearly. An estate attorney can review all documents pertaining to the estate of the deceased to insure that everything is in order and take the necessary steps to remedy any improprieties.

Source: Houston Chronicle, “Questions raised about Houston charity that builds homes for veterans” Cindy Horswell, Apr. 08, 2014