Wisconsin mom, son accused of veteran charity scam
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The state is seeking restitution for people who bought coupon books from a mother and son accused of keeping money that was supposed to benefit veterans, the Wisconsin attorney general said Tuesday.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Tuesday the complaint against Brian and Andrea Michaud of Double Up Inc. also seeks forfeitures.
The Journal Sentinel reported the company sold about 10,000 booklets offering discounts at Waukesha and Milwaukee County businesses in 2011. The company said proceeds would benefit disabled veterans and veteran outreach programs in Wisconsin.
But the complaint claims the Michauds never donated proceeds to any local veteran group. Instead, The Journal Sentinel reported, the money was deposited into personal bank accounts and used to pay off gambling debts and child support. More than 100 merchants paid $300 or more to participate.
Purchasers were also told they would qualify for a chance to win one of three trips to Mexico. According to the complaint, the trips were given to friends of the Michauds instead of randomly selected customers. When the company that donated the trips learned the winners had not been randomly selected, it took them back.
The Better Business Bureau referred the case to the state’s Department of Justice.
A message seeking comment was left at a number listed for Andrea Michaud in Tomahawk on Tuesday afternoon.