(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced an agreement with William A. Hastings and Michael E. Gibson, both of Columbus, to stop illegal charitable solicitation activities on behalf of Just 4 Vets in Ohio. The agreement was filed in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
“Ohioans who give to charities that claim to assist veterans expect their donations to benefit the men and women who served our country in uniform,” said Attorney General DeWine. “In this case, Just 4 Vets never received any of the money supposedly collected for them, and unacceptable.”
Just 4 Vets, a legitimate, non-profit organization created to help needy veterans and their families with day-to-day essentials, retained William A. Hastings to conduct charitable solicitations. Michael E. Gibson assisted Hastings with charitable solicitations using the Just 4 Vets name. Hastings and Gibson recruited others to help solicit donations on behalf of Just 4 Vets.
Hastings, Gibson, and the individuals they recruited solicited patrons in front of various Kroger and Wal-Mart stores, using the Just 4 Vets name, at least 12 times since November, 2012. Neither Just 4 Vets or its president, Charles W. Johns, were made aware that Hastings, Gibson, and their recruits had started a charitable solicitation campaign. Just 4 Vets also never received any of the proceeds from the campaign nor was he given an accounting of the solicitation activities conducted on behalf of Just 4 Vets.
Under the terms of the Assurance of Discontinuance, Hastings and Gibson may not hold any position as a volunteer, officer, trustee, employee, representative, or agent of any charitable organization in the state of Ohio. In addition, Hastings and Gibson may not conduct or participate in any charitable solicitation for an organization in the state of Ohio as a volunteer, officer, trustee, employee, representative, or agent. The penalty for each failure to comply will be a minimum of $10,000 or true damages at the Attorney General’s discretion.
For additional information about a charity or to file a complaint about a questionable organization, call the Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or go online at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840