While the purported charity claimed that 100 percent of funds were
directed to help military families, investigators found that less than
20 percent of the donations were actually used for that purpose. Most of
the money was simply pocketed for Simpson’s daily living expenses.
even hosted a fundraiser that was to send a Marine’s child who was sick
with cancer to Disney,” Baker said. “In fact, he did not direct any
money toward that family.”
But Simpson was a good salesman. He
knew enough about the military to ingratiate himself with Marines and
their families. And for a long time, no one, including his volunteers,
had any reason to question his military record or how he was spending
the money he raised.
“It’s such an affront to the Marine Corps
values that someone had the audacity to take advantage of their service
members for financial gain—while pretending to have those same military
values himself when he did not,” Baker said. “It’s just a really
In April, Simpson pleaded guilty to wire fraud in April 2019 and was sentenced to four years in prison in July 2019.
emphasized the importance of donors investigating charities before they
contribute. Legitimate organizations are transparent about how much
they take in, what their operating costs are, and who benefits from
their work. The Federal Trade Commission also offers tips on giving wisely.