A CBS News investigation raises questions about spending by the Wounded Warrior Project, a prominent national veterans charity that has vastly increased expenditures on meetings and conferences in recent years. The network said it spoke to more than 40 former employees of the nonprofit who detailed lavish parties and annual meetings held at luxury reports.
According to tax filings, the charity's spending on events spiked from $1.7 million in 2010 to $26 million in 2014, about what it spent on its top mission program, combat-stress recovery. Ryan Kules, the group's alumni director, denied the allegations of excessive spending, saying the conferences "ensure we are providing programs and services to our warriors and families at the highest quality."
The Wounded Warrior Project raised more than $300 million in 2014. Charity Navigator says the group spends 60 percent of its money on programs for veterans, compared to more than 90 percent for military charities such as Fisher House and the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust. Wounded Warrior CEO Steven Nardizzi has been on outspoken critic of nonprofit watchdog groups, particularly Charity Navigator.