Spending is out of control…
The Wounded Warrior Project is a venerable veteran’s charity and service organization that assists wounded veterans and their families. Through the generous donations of Americans, the charity raised about $300 million in 2014.
Recently the charity has come under fire with accusations of excessive spending on parties and conferences for employees. In fact, the charity watch dog group Charity Navigator has placed The Wounded Warrior Project on their watch list.
Current and former employees are now blowing the whistle on the wasteful spending.
Check out the shocking CBS Special Report below. You won’t believe it
A CBS News investigation into a charity for wounded veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project, looks into how the charity spends its donation money.
What caught our attention is how the Wounded Warrior Project spends donations compared to other long-respected charities.
For example, Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust spends 96 percent of its budget on vets. Fisher House devotes 91 percent. But according to public records reported by “Charity Navigator,” the Wounded Warrior Project spends 60 percent on vets.
Where is the money is going?
In its commercials, Wounded Warrior Project appeals to the American public’s generosity, and it works. In 2014 alone the group received more than $300 million in donations.
“Their mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors, but what the public doesn’t see is how they spend their money,” said Army Staff Sergeant Erick Millette.
Millette came home from Iraq in 2006 with a bronze star and a purple heart — along with a traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
Initially, he admired the charity’s work, and participated in its programs. He took a job as a public speaker with Wounded Warrior Project in 2013. But after two years, he quit…
…CBS News spoke to more than 40 former employees who described a charity where spending was out of control.
Two of those former employees were so fearful of retaliation they asked that their faces not to be shown on camera.
“It was extremely extravagant. Dinners and alcohol, and just total accessm” one employee explained. He continued, saying that for a charitable organization that’s serving veterans, the spending on resorts and alcohol is “what the military calls fraud waste and abuse.”
According to the charity’s tax forms, spending on conferences and meetings went from $1.7 million in 2010, to $26 million in 2014. That’s about the same amount the group spends on combat stress recovery — its top program.
Former employees say spending has skyrocketed since Steven Nardizzi took over as CEO in 2009. Many point to the 2014 annual meeting at a luxury resort in Colorado Springs as typical of his style.
“He rappelled down the side of a building at one of the all hands events. He’s come in on a Segway, he’s come in on a horse.”
About 500 staff members attended the four-day conference in Colorado. The price tag? About $3 million…
Source: CBS News Image Source