October 3, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today sued Kendallwood Hospice Company in Kansas City for its refusal to return more than $39,000 belonging to Honor Flight Network of Kansas City, Inc.
According to Koster, Kendallwood Hospice Company agreed to hold donations for Honor Flight Network of Kansas City in a separate bank account. As part of the agreement, the president and the treasurer of Honor Flight Network of Kansas City could withdraw funds to pay for veterans to visit memorials in Washington, DC. Honor Flight focuses on helping World War II veterans and terminally ill veterans from the Korean and Vietnam Wars see their respective memorials.
In February 2013, without notice to Honor Flight, Kendallwood removed Honor Flight's president and treasurer from the signature card for the account, leaving Honor Flight unable to access their funds. In response, Honor Flight terminated its arrangement with Kendallwood Hospice Company on March 23, and directed Kendallwood to transfer all remaining Honor Flight funds to the National Honor Flight Network. Despite repeated requests from Honor Flight, Kendallwood has still refused.
Honor Flight was forced to cancel a planned June 8, 2013 flight that would have transported 54 veterans to see their Memorials. Honor Flight received word that two of these veterans died before their flights could be rescheduled.
Koster said that Kendallwood Hospice closed the bank account holding Honor Flight donations of at least $39,878.72, and opened a new account at a different bank with a Cashier’s Check in same amount. As part of today's lawsuit, the Attorney General obtained a temporary restraining order freezing $39,878.72 of Honor Flight donations within the new account.
"Honor Flight has the single purpose of ensuring that the men and women who risked their lives for our country can visit the memorials that stand in their honor," Koster said. "Withholding funds that good-hearted people have donated to make these trips a reality for veterans is an insult to those who have served our country and secured our freedoms."
Koster's lawsuit accuses Kendallwood of engaging in deceptive and unfair practices, improper use of charitable gifts, and violating Missouri law governing non-profits. The suit asks the court to demand Kendallwood Hospice distribute all funds collected on behalf of Honor Flight as well as pay civil penalties and court costs.