BOSTON – The Attorney General’s office in Massachusetts is currently reviewing complaints filed against a Burrillville-based nonprofit organization that has cancelled plans to build a new home for an elderly Korean War veteran.
New Englanders Helping Our Veterans announced in August that a project to build a house for 83-year-old Paul Tellier was halted after he declined to sign over the deed for his property. The organization had collected funds for Tellier, who was living in very poor conditions, saying that upon his death, the property would go to another veteran in need.
NRI NOW learned of complaints filed against NEHOV with the Attorney General in Massachusetts over missing documents. According to a July article in the Telegram Gazette, the organization failed to report a 2017 calling campaign between NEHOV and fundraising company All-Pro; did not disclose the details of the campaign on a separate report charities file with the AG and did not submit a copy of its 2017 990 tax-exempt IRS filing — a document on which the campaign was disclosed.
The documents are required, in part, to create transparency for donors regarding how a charity’s funds are utilized.
In posts on social media and in talks with NRI NOW, Belinda Collins of NEHOV said she was unaware of any complaints against her organization, and that all required paperwork had been filed.
“Please do your due diligence and find the complaints of NEHOV to back up your reporting,” wrote Collins. “As I said I know of no complaints only the lack of filing which is now completed.”
NRI NOW submitted a public records request for complaints against the organization on August 23 and received a response on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
“Please be advised that the complaints you requested relate to matters under review by the AGO,” noted the response. The records, notes Assistant Attorney General & Records Access Officer Lorraine Tarrow, are exempt from disclosure because it would “compromise effective law enforcement by prematurely revealing information about the nature and course of our review and our sources of information.”