Tennessee Man Scams Thousands of Veterans in Custom Flag Fraud

Tennessee Man Scams Thousands of Veterans in Custom Flag Fraud

Tennessee officials joined forces with the Federal Trade Commission as part of their efforts to stop veteran charity scams.

A partnership between the FTC and the Tennessee secretary of state, attorney general and law enforcement from every state has been established to investigate and prosecute fraudulent charities that promised veterans and servicemembers donations.

After gathering evidence on Justin Scott, an Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq, and his custom flag-making company for more than a year, the state could now find them liable in the case.

At least 23,600 customers of The Rustic Flag Company out of Trenton, Tenn., have not received their orders, according to the state attorney general. This number is rapidly growing. Veteran customers make up the majority of Scott’s customers, and each custom piece was valued between $100 and $400.

A Better Business Bureau report confirmed those complaints. The bureau received documents filed by the court showing more than 2,100 complaints.

According to the complaint, investigators found several deficiencies in the company's record-keeping. Moreover, Scott allegedly paid his personal expenses with company money.

A complaint also claims Scott used $215,000 out of his $300,000 Shopify loan to pay off his mortgage. The police have used company money to purchase two four-wheelers, a Ford F-150, a Corvette, an Escalade and a Mustang, as well as landscaping for his home.

Scott accepts that he did have unfulfilled orders, but he disputes the number from the state attorney general. According to Scott, the number is between 8,000 and 10,000 customers, but he does understand why people are upset with him.

“I think there is anger warranted. You spent your money with a veteran-owned company that you thought would provide you with a product,” Scott said. “I am 100% truly sorry to my brothers and sisters that didn’t get what they ordered.”