Scammers create fake veterans charity to get donations
WESLEY CHAPEL (FOX 13) – Two men are accused of collecting donations for veterans from Pasco County residents and businesses and pocketing the proceeds.
A quick-thinking business owner is the reason they’re behind bars, but their scheme – and others like it – could have a long-lasting impact.
How is President Trump Doing on Improving Veterans’ Healthcare?
by Jamie Reno
Supporters say the president has made great strides in reforming the Veterans Administration, but others worry he is on the road to privatizing the agency.
When attorney Thomas Bandzul served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War in the early 1970s, he had no aspirations of becoming an advocate for his fellow veterans.
He didn’t reach his decision to become an advocate until years after the war ended.
Deployed to Employed: Veteran entrepreneurs
NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — More than 11,000 members of the military transition into civilian life each year. Some leave with a passion to start their own business, but where do you turn for help in getting your idea off the ground? There are lots of resources available.
The Small Business Administration has numerous programs to help aspiring veteran entrepreneurs including an entire office dedicated to veteran business development, the Boots to Business program offered on military bases, and the Veterans Business Outreach Center which provides business training to veterans.
Michael Schwarting, a U.S. Navy veteran and founder of Knockerball Hampton Roads, decided that when he finished serving he wanted to go into business for himself.
Veteran-Owned Businesses: What You Need to Know
Did you know that, out of the 27.9 million businesses in the United States, 2.45 million of them are owned by veterans?
That’s right—employing over 5.793 million different employees and bringing in over $1.220 trillion in sales—veteran owned businesses have a big impact on the U.S. economy.
If you’re a veteran, how can you get in on a piece of the entrepreneurship pie?
Clearly, small business in the United States would be a nowhere close to where it is today without veteran entrepreneurs. But still, starting, growing, and financing a business as a veteran business owner is much harder than it should be.
That being said, there are a handful of steps you can take and resources to take advantage of if you’re a veteran trying to start a business.
Here’s your ultimate guide to starting and financing a business as a veteran entrepreneur.
Veterans’ suicide risk no greater than civilians: study
Veterans of the armed forces may not be at a greater risk of suicide as compared to people who have never served in the military, a new UK study has found.
However, there may be an increased risk of suicide in certain groups such as older veterans and women veterans, researchers said.
Previous studies on suicide risk in veterans have shown a mixed picture but recent UK studies have generally shown veterans to be at no greater risk than the general public, while both Falklands and Gulf War veterans have been shown to have a lower risk of suicide.
Veteran Affairs aims to rein in costs as marijuana reimbursement bill balloons to $63.7 million
Veterans Affairs paid out $44.5 million for medical marijuana expenses in the year before the government cracked down on soaring reimbursement costs — more than three times what it covered in the prior two years combined.
The department covered 3.7 million grams of marijuana at an average cost of $12.01 per gram from October 2015 to September 2016 — 30 per cent higher than what it considers market value.
The cost breakdown was included in documents released under an access to information request ahead of a Veterans Affairs policy change this month that will significantly reduce the amount of medical marijuana eligible for reimbursement.
New Jersey event helps women entrepreneurs
from The American Legion
Over 100 women business owners and entrepreneurs attended a leadership symposium supported in part by The American Legion Department of New Jersey on May 11.
The “Women Warriors in Business” event at Rutgers Business School was designed to empower women business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders toward success.
Bob Looby, the department’s employment and education chairman, said the idea for the event developed last fall.
VA warns that scammers are trying to take advantage of Choice Program users
There’s a phone line that has been set up to scam veterans who happen to misdial the Veterans Choice Program phone number.
The only difference between the phone numbers rests in the area code, warns theDepartment of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Choice Program phone number is 1-866-606-8198. The scammer’s number replaces 866 with 800.
VA officials say the scam phone number will not provide any information on the Choice Program or its eligibility criteria, but it will offer a $100 rebate for the caller’s credit card information. The VA says they would never ask for this information, nor would they ever offer incentives through the Choice Program.
Indiana Man Pleads Guilty to Charges Relating to a Kickback Scheme at the John Cochran VA Center
St. Louis, MO – Tony Pedretti, 43, of Whiting, Indiana, admitted to his role in a kickback scheme that ran for three years while he supervised the HVAC shop and the John Cochran Veterans Administration Medical Center in St. Louis from 2012 to 2015. Pedretti appeared before Judge Audrey G. Fleissig in St. Louis. Judge Fleissig accepted his plea and set his sentencing for September 7, 2017.
According to the plea agreement, Pedretti conspired with Scott Geary, David Graham and others to collect kickbacks for work done at the HVAC shop. Pedretti was authorized to pay up to $2500 to outside contractors without prior approval and most of the jobs involved in the scheme were near that limit. It was a part of the parties’ agreement that, for each job, Pedretti would receive a cash kickback. In all, Pedretti admitted that more than $270,000 in work was let by him in furtherance of the kickback scheme.