JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced Thursday that he has filed a lawsuit against a 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 a press release, 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 treasurer of Honor Flight Network of Kansas city could withdraw funds from the account to pay for veterans to visit memorials in Washington D.C.
Honor Flight focuses on helping World War II veterans and terminally ill veterans from the Korean and Vietnam Wars to see their respective memorials.
However, in February, Kendallwood removed Honor Flight’s president and treasurer from the signature card for the account without any notice, leaving Honor Flight unable to access their funds.
As a response, Honor Flight terminated its arrangement with the hospice company on March 23 and directed the company to transfer all the remaining Honor Flight funds to the National Honor Flight Network.
According to the release, Kendallwood has refused, despite repeated requests from Honor Flight.
Due to the struggle, Honor Flight was forced to cancel a planned flight on June 8 that would have transported 54 veterans to see their memorials. Honor Flight has since received word that two of those veterans died before their flights could be rescheduled, according to the release.
Attorney General Koster says in the release that Kendallwood Hospice closed the bank account holding Honor Flight donations of at least $39,878.72 and has opened a new account at a different bank with a Cashier’s Check in the same amount.
As part of the lawsuit filed by Koster, a temporary restraining order was obtained freezing the amount 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,” says Koster in the release. “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 violation Missouri law governing non-profits.
The suit asks the court system to demand the hospice to distribute all funds collected on behalf of Honor Flight, was well as pay civil penalties and court costs.