The Founder of Erie Boots on Ground indicted for embezzlement

Local News

Venus Azevedo-Laboda launched boots on ground after her brother Navy Vet Philip Azevedo killed himself. She is now facing seven Felony counts in Federal Court for embezzling $7,837 from the organization.

Boots on ground helps veterans suffering from PTSD. Azevedo-Laboda could face up to 140 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

For some in the community this is a loss of trust but for others like Gathers this is not a shock. Gathers says that Azevedo-Laboda is smart and knows how to use people for her own good. “It’s not boots on ground the organization it’s that one person which is Venus who is misusing those funds and there are several people who has witnessed this happening including myself,” said Gathers. The alleged fraud happened between January 2014 and November of 2018.

“Many people that were involved with her have been recently talking to each other about our experience and she can be very manipulative,” said Gathers. 

Azevedo-Laboda is summoned to appear for arraignment in Federal Court January 29th. We reached out to Azevedo-Laboda for comment but haven’t heard back. 

Since the news broke the Facebook group for Boots on Ground has been shutdown. 

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