A man in Utah is accused of soliciting donations to fake veterans' charities and promising bogus tax write offs.
One woman who logged robocalls from the man helped the Federal Trade Commission in Chicago build one of its cases against bogus veterans' charities and against the man they believe is running them by using websites to help lure unsuspecting donors.
According to the lawsuit, the accused man is Travis Deloy Peterson of Utah, who they say collected thousands of cars and boats from generous Americans and sold them at auction, pocketing the proceeds within the last four years.
"He’s preying on people’s sympathies to get them to donate goods to help service members and veterans and then he’s using most of that money just for his own personal expenses," Todd Kossow with the FTC.
Nancy McDaniel was on the receiving end of those calls for years, and skeptical from the get-go.
Instead of donating, she started logging complaints a dozen times in the last four years.
A spokesperson from the FTC in Chicago said her logs payed off.
"Nancy is somebody who ignored the robocalls," Kossow said. "She didn’t pick up. But she did keep track of all the robocalls she got and she provided us with that information."
The FTC said thousands of complaints have been lodged against the many "fake charities" run by Peterson.
Peterson is accused of using the money meant for veterans to pay for personal vacations, dining, matchmaking services and even an all-terrain vehicle.
His assets are now frozen and his operation shut down while the case continues.
The FTC said that Peterson has taken in nearly $500,000 in donations over the last four years.
We tried to reach out to him for comment but two phone numbers in his name are out of order.
The FTC said he is not represented by an attorney in this case.