Things got hotter than normal in Miami after a Marine veteran saw two men wearing military uniforms and collecting money for a “charity,” despite both men not appearing to be active duty material at all.
US Marine veteran Jose Pazos confronted the two men -who claimed to be part of the non-profit group Veterans and Patriots Citadel- as they rolled up and down a busy Miami street, wearing Army digital camo uniforms and collecting money for their “charity.”
You guys cannot be doing that s*** here,” shouted Pazos in an incident he caught on video. “You are collecting money representing that you’re a veteran, and you’re not a veteran and that’s called stolen valor.”
Pazos served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving the Marines as a Sergeant. He’s convinced that the two men are scammers and has dedicated part of his time to getting to the bottom of it all.
“I am 99.9 percent sure these guys are scam artists,” Pazos said. “They’re not doing anything for veterans and that’s what infuriated me.”
When approached by ABC Local 10, the two men said they are veterans and are running a legitimate charity.
“We’re looking to make a difference in this world. There’s too many homeless people out there as it is right now, and every little bit that we can do helps,” said Veterans and Patriots Citadel, co-founder Ed Ramsey, who said he served in the 1980s.
Providing the reporters with ID cards, they were hesitant to show proof of financials.
“We’re brand new,” he said. “We’re a brand new foundation. You’ve got to start somewhere, and we started this with zero dollars.”
However, an investigation into the charity earlier this month showed the charity was licensed in 2016 by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services but was suspended for failing to show financials. As of Friday, the charity is no longer even recognized on the website.
Jose Pazos also ran for the 114th District of the Florida State House this year but was defeated by Andrew Fargas in February.
Warning: Video contains strong language
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