The former head of the veterans’ charity Armed Forces Foundation (AAF) was charged Tuesday with involvement in a fraud and tax evasion scheme.
Patricia P. Driscoll, ex-girlfriend of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, resigned as head of AFF on July 12, after serving at the charity for 12 years. Her resignation came in response to an ESPN investigation on May 22, which discovered she essentially used the charity as a bank account.
Now, prosecutors are on the case, and she’s received a whole slew of charges: two counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud and two counts of tax evasion, The Washington Post reports.
The foundation itself stated in a December tax filing that it was aware of strange misappropriations of funds by Driscoll spanning from 2006 to 2014. The total amount of funds clocked in at $600,000.
The scam was this: Driscoll failed to disclose fundraising commissions. She also reportedly spent foundation funds on personal expenses incurred, for example, on trips to Morocco and Paris, and apparently reported sham donations. She used foundation funds to issue loans for personal expenses, namely $22,438 in Moroccan rugs. In one case it appears that she actually used the foundation’s credit card to pay for her tax bills, according to the ESPN investigation.
Driscoll also lived in the foundation’s building — a row house just a stone’s throw away from the U.S. Capitol. The foundation paid $96,000 to cover the rent of the building. Combining residency and foundation business like this is apparently a violation of Washington guidelines.
She used the foundation to pay for the credit card of a private security business Driscoll owned called Frontline Defense Systems. This totaled more than $100,000 and included expenses like dermatology treatments and massages.
To make her scam work successfully, she had to lie to the IRS on the 990 form, which charities have to file every year.
All of this has majorly sullied the foundation’s reputation, as it previously claimed to spend 95 cents of every dollar on programs for servicemembers, but in reality, that figure is more like 72 cents.
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