MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined attorneys general of three other states in shutting down a for-profit company that allegedly misled consumers about supporting military service members.
Hearts 2 Heroes, Inc. of Martinsburg was listed as a for-profit organization doing business as Active Duty Support Services, Inc. The establishment started in 2015 at 108 East Martin Street then terminated in November 2016.
Morrisey alleges the company “violated state consumer protection and charitable solicitation laws by misrepresenting the nature of the business, misrepresenting the delivery of care packages purchased and misusing donated funds”.
Those care packages were allegedly taken to military bases within the United States, but were not sent overseas as believed. Some care packages were never delivered, according to the settlement.
At least 514 residents gave checks to representatives of Hearts 2 Heroes. 56 of those checks had the words “charity”, “contribution” or “donation” noted in the memo section. Morrisey said this indicates consumers believed they were donating to a real charity.
“No company should prey upon the generosity of patriotic West Virginians who want to support our military servicemen and women,” Morrisey said. “We stopped this unlawful practice to ensure no consumer is taken advantage of.”
This multi-state settlement requires the business to be terminated and bans its owners, identified as Christopher and Kayla Engle, from working with a charitable organization.
West Virginia reached the settlement with Hearts 2 Heroes, Inc. along with the attorneys general of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.