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May 26, 2015

Charity Led by NASCAR Star's Ex-Girlfriend Faces Scrutiny

The Armed Forces Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based charity supporting wounded veterans, has allegedly loaned money to and paid personal and business expenses for its president, Patricia Driscoll, according to an ESPN investigation. A former foundation staffer has turned over charity records to the FBI and plans to file a whistleblower suit against Ms. Driscoll, the owner of a security company and the ex-girlfriend of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, ESPN says, citing an attorney close to the ex-employee.

The foundation has grown exponentially since Ms. Driscoll took over leadership in 2003 and cultivated ties in politics, business, and the sports world, boosting annual revenue from $100,000 to $13 million. Citing foundation documents and the attorney, ESPN alleges that the charity has "been repeatedly used as a bank to lend money for or pay various personal expenses," including travel for Ms. Driscoll and her son, luxury purchases, and her private firm's credit-card bills.

Ms. Driscoll declined comment through a communications agency retained by the foundation. Hugh Webster, a member of the charity's board, defended the foundation and its fiscal oversight in a statement, saying it is "absolutely false that [foundation] funds have been used for any personal expenses of Patricia."