Scrutiny of Veterans Charity
The head of a veterans charity that reports $71.3 million in donations during the past fiscal year is scheduled to testify today before a congressional committee that is scrutinizing the organization's financial practices. California businessman Roger Chapin, who founded the charity, evaded U.S. marshals trying to serve him with a congressional subpoena last month. The Post's Philip Rucker reports that between 1997 and 2005, the charity paid $3.8 million in salary and benefits to Chapin and his wife, according to tax filings. The organization, Help Hospitalized Veterans, gave $19 million in contracts during that period to Richard A. Viguerie, a Virginia-based conservative consultant.
"We're talking about an individual that has tried to duck the committee; he refused to testify voluntarily," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is looking into the spending practices of several charities. "It appears he has something to hide, and if you look at his past operations, there are very good reasons to be suspicious about his activities."
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