Boots on Ground to dissolve in wake of indictment

Local News

The Erie organization founded to help veteran’s in crisis is being dissolved.

Boots on Ground was founded by Venus Azevedo-Laboda in the memory of her brother who committed suicide as the result of PTSD and the issues suffered from the ravages of war.

Boots on Ground, Inc (“BOG”) an Erie-based non-profit intends to cease operations and dissolve as a non-profit corporation. “The dissolution of a charitable non-profit can take a lot of time, as paperwork must be filed with the State of Pennsylvania and Federal Government and work its way through the courts”, according to business attorney Adam Williams who is handling the case for BOG.

Williams said, “We have been asked whether donations made to BOG will be returned to the donors.  State and Federal law requires that when a non-profit corporation ceases doing business, and is being dissolved, any charitable donations that have not already been expended for its charitable purpose must be remitted to another non-profit corporation, preferably one with the same or similar mission.  Therefore, any donations remaining with BOG will not be refunded directly to the donors. BOG intends to listen to the input of its donors to determine where any remaining funds should be donated.”

Williams told JET 24 that BOG has a little more than $7-thousand to distribute.  Much of it from some recent fundraisers. 

 

“We are working to determine what, if any, liabilities BOG had, as well as the best path forward to complete this dissolution as efficiently as possible.  We are acutely aware of the frustration the sudden dissolution of BOG has caused its patrons and we greatly appreciate your patience as we work through the dissolution process”, said Williams.  

BOG’s former executive director Venuus Azevedo-Laboda, was recently indicted on charges that she embezzled more than $7,000 in donations intended for the organization. The indictment charges that she deposited donations intended for Boots on Ground into her personal bank account and used a debit card linked to the organization’s bank account to pay personal bills. She pled not guilty in federal court.  

Azevedo-Laboda is no longer associated with Boots on Ground.  

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