- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 22, 2002

ROANOKE The former president of the struggling National D-Day Memorial Foundation has been charged with lying about the amount of donations his organization collected in an effort to secure money to build the $25 million monument.
Richard B. Burrow, who stepped down last year for health reasons, has been charged with four counts of fraud, U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said at a news conference yesterday.
Mr. Burrow did not try to keep any donations for himself, the prosecutor said.
"He did this in an effort to enrich himself through his salary paid by the foundation and to enhance his reputation and prestige as a major fund-raiser and nonprofit organization leader," Mr. Brownlee said.
The indictment accuses Mr. Burrow of telling a Bedford bank he had collected pledges in excess of $2 million in an effort to gain a $1.2 million loan in June 2001.
On another occasion, the indictment states, Mr. Burrow borrowed $3 million from a California bank, then used a copy of the foundation's financial statement to secure state matching funds. The California loan, Mr. Brownlee said, was only used as a lure for the state money.
"In order to receive matching funds, you have to have matching funds," Mr. Brownlee said. "They have to be real."
Mr. Brownlee said the investigation is focused only on Mr. Burrow and none of the foundation's current or other former leaders.
If convicted on all four counts, Mr. Burrow faces a maximum of 120 years in prison.
William McIntosh, the foundation's current president, handed the organization's books to authorities in October after memorial officials acknowledged that their aggressive building plan had placed them $7 million in debt.
The investigation has since become a major stumbling block for the memorial. Donations have lagged while the memorial remained under scrutiny. The debt has hovered around $6 million, and foundation officials have refused to borrow more money or schedule payments to their current creditors until they know the result of the investigation.
"As long as there's the possibility that someone from this foundation is going to get indicted, it's simply irresponsible for us to sign a contract with someone," Mr. McIntosh said earlier this month.
Frustrated with the slow and irregular payments, the memorial's main architect and construction company filed lawsuits in state court this month to force repayment of about $2.8 million in unpaid building costs. If the foundation cannot pay, both creditors requested that parts of the memorial be sold to raise money.
The towering monument of marble and concrete was a longtime dream for many D-Day veterans who wanted to memorialize soldiers of the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy, France, that turned the tide of World War II.
It was built in rural Bedford, which lost 23 soldiers during the invasion, more men per capita than any other community in the country. President Bush attended the unveiling on June 6, 2001.
Instead of waiting to amass enough money to build the memorial, foundation officials borrowed money and hoped the generosity and patriotism of its creditors would keep them from demanding paychecks before donations could be collected.


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