MILWAUKEE — The man behind a fundraising business that’s supposed to help injured veterans has once again failed to produce the donations he promised.
It’s a follow up to a FOX6 investigation into “Double Up 4 Vets” and Brian Michaud.
Michaud says he has raised more than $17,000 in gross sales from a coupon book with buy one, get one free deals at local bars and restaurants. The so-called “Double Up” passport books were advertised as a fundraiser for injured Wisconsin veterans.
Over a year after the books were first printed and sold, almost none of the money raised has gone to veterans’ causes.
A FOX6 investigation found that Michaud is a convicted felon with a record of burglary, forgery and resisting arrest. He currently owes more than $50,000 in court judgements to people all over Wisconsin.
Michaud also blames his former business partner, Robert Weinzatl, claiming Weinzatl stole thousands of the coupon books and kept the money he made for himself.
Michaud never even met Weinzatl until six months after his coupon books were first published. Michaud has failed to provide any documentation to support his claims that Weinzatl embezzled money from him.
In fact, Wenzatl invested more than $14,000 of his own money into the business, and so far, he’s the only one who’s provided FOX6 with receipts for small donations to the Milwaukee VA.
Earlier in May, Michaud said he planned to donate some of the money he made last year on Memorial Day Weekend this year.
Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, and there are still no donations.
In an email to FOX6 Investigators, Michaud blames FOX6’s “morally corrupt journalism practices” for putting him “a bit behind schedule.”
Instead of donating to injured veterans, records obtained by FOX6 News show that Michaud withdrew nearly $2,000 from the company account at a Potawatomi Casino ATM last summer.
Just this week, FOX6 was able to confirm that on at least three of those dates, Michaud was out on “work release” from the Jefferson County Jail for his third drunk driving conviction.
“I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. But the one thing I didn’t do is I didn’t try to defraud anybody here,” Michaud said.
One Vietnam veteran disagrees…
“It’s a scam. The guy is taking the money to the bank. Going to shows, going to Potawatomi, going wherever the hell he`s going and spending money that legitimately should be for veterans’ outreach and help,” Doc Dentice said.
FOX6’s Bryan Polcyn emailed Michaud Tuesday morning, May 29th to ask whether he’d made any donations over the Memorial Day Weekend, as he had promised.
Three hours later, Michaud contacted a Milwaukee-based veterans’ charity that has asked FOX6 News not to use its name because they don’t want to be associated with Michaud.
Michaud told the charity that he’d like to “get in touch” with them about donating money he raised at an event last year.
The director of the charity told FOX6 News the call was totally out of the blue, and raised questions about what really happened to the money raised last year.
Based on those concerns and FOX6’s recent investigation, the charity told Michaud “thanks, but no thanks.”