- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2004

ROANOKE — The former president of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., was indicted for the second time on fraud charges accusing him of illegally raising money to help build the $25 million monument.

In a 12-count indictment handed up yesterday in federal court in Charlottesville, prosecutors say Richard B. Burrow lied to banks about the foundation’s finances so that they would agree to loan his struggling organization money, even as it spiraled into massive debt. The indictment also includes two counts of perjury.

While he didn’t profit financially, prosecutors say, Mr. Burrow benefited professionally with his stewardship of such a high-profile project.

His trial on similar charges in 2002 ended in a mistrial.

U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said last year he would seek a new indictment after the memorial’s former attorney agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for dropping wire-fraud charges that carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Robert L. Harrison Jr. told a grand jury in March that he helped Mr. Burrow defraud Virginia out of $4.5 million to build the struggling monument.

In a 10-page statement released by prosecutors, Mr. Burrow approached Mr. Harrison for advice about a scheme of using loans to help obtain state matching grants. According to the statement, Mr. Burrow became “anxious and almost angry” in 1998 when Mr. Harrison said the scheme was improper.

After the foundation received the loans, Mr. Harrison said, he knew it didn’t have enough money to repay them.

The fund-raising strategy collapsed as officials built on borrowed money in a rush to complete the $25 million monument in time for aging veterans to see it. It was in the red even before President Bush arrived for the dedication ceremony on June 6, 2001.

The debt eventually ballooned to as much as $7 million in 2001, forcing the foundation into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It was cleared in June after officials agreed on a payment plan with creditors.

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