The Paper Trail - Introduction - Pre-Indictment Documents



March-April 1997

President’s Message, The Graybeards, page 5:
[KWE Note: President Pappas informs members via Graybeards that problems with Maison’s booking had been discovered; an investigation was now going on; and that steps had been taken to preserve KWVA assets.]

The following is the text of the President’s Message, written by Nick Pappas and published on page 5 in the March-April 1997 issue of The Graybeards magazine. The message explains how the Maison theft was discovered, and the steps that were taken immediately thereafter:

"Based upon information, provided to me by our CPA, Stan Myrda, in November 1996, I requested an in-depth analysis of our financial operations, instead of a normal audit, and to keep me informed, which he did. On 7 February 1997, I received two (2) reports, titled: 96 Reunion Compilation Report and KWVA Special Procedures Report for FY 96. Both reports were marked "Preliminary Draft for Discussion Only." After review of the two (2) documents, I requested Mr. Myrda to send copies by "overnight express" to Judge Advocate Magill for his "perusal" and recommendations. Upon advice of the Judge Advocate and CPA, and by my letter of direction (ref (a)], Mr. Myrda was instructed to take specific actions and any other he deemed necessary to preserve KWVA assets.

By the same "referenced" letter, Mr. Maison was suspended as KWVA Treasurer/Quartermaster. He was also requested to meet with Mr. Myrda to reconcile the "findings" in the draft reports and be prepared to explain all at the February 15-16, 1997 Mid-Winter Council Meeting. Instead, he "opted" to resign effective 11 February 1997, stating he could not attend the Council meeting because of illness.

At the Mid-Winter Meeting, in "Executive Session", Mr. Myrda briefed the Draft Reports and all actions taken. He was authorized by the Council to conduct a more comprehensive and detailed review of the KWVA’s financial affairs and Quartermaster operation. He was also granted a "limited" power of attorney to deal with associated issues. These actions would give Mr. Myrda the authority to seek additional information that was not previously "accessible" to him, i.e., detailed vendor bills, bank records, credit card transactions, etc. Mr. Myrda pointed out that it was "tax season" and he could not "totally" devote his efforts to pursue the issues involved immediately, a point that was understood by the Council.

Further actions approved by the Council to ensure KWVA continues to operate in FY 97 were: (1) appointed Secretary Martin as Acting Treasurer; (2) canceled all 1-800 numbers; (3) temporarily suspended all FY 96/97 payments for the State Rebate and Scholarship Programs; (4) Quartermaster operations be contracted; (5) Council members pay for their rooms at all meetings; (6) implementing the National Commemorative M-1 and M45 Fund Raiser for the Graybeards ASAP; (7) kept the Graybeards at six (6) issues with 48 pages, subject to funding availability; (8) request members to donate at least five dollars ($5.00) to maintain the Graybeards at six (6) issues; (9) reduced other administrative costs in the FY ’97 budget; (10) Chairman Tom Maines plan to increase membership adopted; (11) the postal (9) noted digit/zip bar code already in effect; (12) Chapter Newsletter competition not affected; (13) did not renew the National KWVA Rehabilitation Flower contract.

Some members have circulated letters that contain erratic fiscal information, insinuations and dubious demands. The Council will only take action based upon facts and the advice of the Judge Advocate, CPA and our Illinois "Legal Advisor," which has been done. Not on the assumptions of "errant" dissidents who have personal axes to grind, such as sending "confidential" KWVA fiscal information to a New York newspaper or contacting the IRS, respective Attorney Generals and other affected officials. Their "antics" can subject the KWVA to possible litigation and jeopardize the investigation and presentations of KWVA claims. The matter is in the hands of the proper authorities for their action. We do not need "clubhouse" lawyers continuing to muddy the waters. Furthermore, the National Officers are NOT resigning. We were "elected" by the membership and intend to stay the course.

The survival of the KWVA is of paramount importance at this time and can only be accomplished if we maintain and preserve the cohesiveness and legality of the organization. It is important for you, the membership, to understand that during any legal/fiscal investigation, your Council members are bound to maintain "confidentiality" to protect everyone’s legal rights, until such time as final conclusions are reached. To speak without "evidential" conclusions puts the KWVA in a potential "libelous" situation. Therefore, because of the reasons presented herein, I have "instructed" Editor Camp not to publish "any" letters, information, etc. received from members pertaining to this matter. After all of the facts are determined and "substantiated" and the fiscal issues are resolved, then the results and subsequent actions will be published.

Our current financial status (as of 15 April) is as follows: Bills due = $87,404; bills paid = $52,484; Cash on hand = $20,622. In addition, any losses we have incurred over the past year are covered by insurance. Our priorities are to continue to reduce the "deficit" and publish the Graybeards as scheduled.

A shorter version of this message was prepared to be sent to all members in early March. Because of mailing costs ($3,900) it was only mailed to chapters for distribution. Also, because of limited resources, the Graybeards will have a "temporary" new look. On page 6 is an ad asking for members to donate funds to support the Graybeards. If sufficient funds are contributed, Editor Camp will be able to continue publishing in its usual format.

On a side note, I am deeply grateful to Director Cook and the Illinois/Missouri Chapter members who moved the KWVA Quartermaster inventory and are in the process of pricing it out for the CPA (see page 10 for more information). Their efforts solved a major management problem for the KWVA.

On a sad note, KWVA National VAVS Representative Bill Carr passed away on March 31, 1997. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

In closing, the Council members and I thank the "loyal" members for their support and understanding. With your help, we shall persevere and overcome the present obstacles, despite the "dire" epitaphs by a few malcontents. Please continue paying your dues.

Because of the current "funding" shortfall, members who do not pay their "national dues" within 60 days after the due date, are considered "delinquent" and will be removed from the Graybeards mailing list. It is not fair to "paying" members, including POWs, CMOHs, etc., to bear the burden of the cost for publishing the Graybeards for members who have not paid their dues.

The spirit shown in ’95 is still alive. The KWVA will survive."



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