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Tue, Nov 27, 2012

Money Goes Missing From Kansas Honor Flights Fund

Flights To WWII Memorial Halted After Thefts Discovered

The program director for an organization in Great Bend, KS, which raised money to fly WWII veterans to Washington, DC, to visit the WWII Memorial has been arrested and charged with two counts of theft by deception. LaVeta Miller (pictured in Barton County Sheriff's photo) is accused of taking about $110,000 from Central Prairie Honor Flights.

The Associated Press reports that the group raised over $1.1 million for the flights between 2008 and 2012, but the flights were stopped this year after the money was discovered to be missing. Miller had started administering the program in April, 2009, and received the title Program Manager in April, 2011.
About the time the flights were cancelled, the national Honor Flight Network severed its relationship with Central Prairie Honor Flights, saying there were issues with reports being filed late, and even one veteran being injured on a trip. The group which oversaw the non-profit, Central Prairie Resource Conservation and Development, shuttered the program in July and fired Miller because it could no longer pay her annual $22,000 salary. That is when the investigation began, which turned up evidence of direct deposits into Miller's personal bank account.

Some of the veterans who know Miller say they are skeptical that she took the money. They told the Associated Press that she does not live an extravagant lifestyle, renting a small home and never seeming to have much cash.

Miller is free on bond. Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews said that if she if found guilty, they will seek restitution to the organization.

FMI: www.bartoncounty.org/attorney/index.htm

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