OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) — A Fresno family raised money through their Wounded Warriors Support Group and another so-called nonprofit for veterans, and spent it on their own hobbies, show horses, cars and at Victoria’s Secret, California’s attorney general claims in court.
California on Monday asked Alameda County Superior Court to dissolve the Wounded Warriors Support Group and co-defendant Central Coast Equine Rescue and Retirement. The state also sued Matthew G. Gregory, his wife and two adult children, all of whom are accused of running illegal raffles to fund the Wounded Warriors Support Group (WWSG) since 2011.
“Although WWSG advertised that raffle proceeds would support veterans through a therapeutic equestrian program, no program has ever existed,” the state says. “Instead, virtually all of the money that donors gave to help injured veterans was used by members of the Gregory family for personal expenses, hobbies, and for their for-profit business.”
The state says the family, of Fresno County, used the so-called nonprofits to help their business Gregory Motorsports, and raffled off vintage sport cars, allegedly to help injured veterans.
A user on a forum on the website slowtwitch.com this year raised concerns about a car show raffle selling tickets to win a 1965 Shelby Cobra.
“I went to the website on the raffle ticket to see who won,” the user wrote, but found that the website appears to no longer exist.
“I did not think twice when I plopped down $100 for 10 tickets since at the time I had heard Wounded Warriors was a good charity and hey, it was a chance to win a Cobra,” the user wrote. “The organization had the car at the event I was attending and everything appeared legit. Now I’m feeling like it was an elaborate scam.”
Citing bank statements, the state says the two supposed charities’ money “was used to pay for the Gregory family’s personal expenses, such as $10,000 to pay off dad Matthew’s Cabela’s Hunting and Fishing credit card, traffic school, purchases at Victoria’s Secret, MyPillow, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Hot Topic, TJ Maxx, Guitar Center, JC Penney, La Mundial dressage boots, Valentine’s Day flowers, Stevens Creek Volkswagen, Dublin Volkswagen, Dublin Toyota, Fresno Chrysler Jeep, Costco, Home Depot, Shelby American, various restaurants and hotels, car show fees, tires and maintenance on personal vehicles, gasoline, groceries, dental services, and assorted tack and equipment for Gina’s show horse hobby.”
The attorney general says the Gregorys failed to keep records of their business transactions and made false filings with the IRS.
Defendants are the two business and Matthew G. Gregory, his wife Danella Gregory, their children Matthew J. and Gina Gregory, and Gregory Motorsports.
The attorney seeks appointment of a receiver, dissolution of the nonprofits, accounting, surrender of all assets, an injunction, costs, and damages for breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, unjust enrichment, deceptive and misleading solicitations, self-dealing, running an illegal raffle, violations of the Business and Professions Code, and failure to abide by orders and regulations of the attorney general.
Central Coast Equine Rescue and Retirement did not respond to an emailed request for comment.