Venus Azevedo-Laboda — the founder of Boots on Ground — is accused of embezzling more than seven thousand dollars from the organization over the past five years.
The Erie-based non-profit was established in 2012 to address suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder among military veterans.
Azevedo-Laboda launched the effort after her brother – Navy Vet. Philip Azevedo – killed himself.
The alleged fraud happened between Jan. 2014 and November of this year. Investigators say she put donations into a personal bank account, and used the funds to pay her own bills.
Azevedo-Laboda is summoned to appear for arraignment in federal court Jan. 29.
She could face up to 20 years in prison for each count she’s been indicted on — if convicted.