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March 27, 2023

Ripley's Hero: Adam Kinzinger Was On Board of Advisors to Alleged Pro-Ukraine Group That Scammed People Out of Millions of Dollars and Is Now Under Federal Investigation


Ghosts of the Ghost of Kiev!

First Kinzinger promoted a fake soldier:

In 2022, Newsweek ran a glowing story about an American man who claimed to be a volunteer fighting with the Ukrainian Army. Vasquez claimed in March 2022. that he'd "taken out 7 Russian tanks."

Former Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger advocated for Vasquez, urging Twitter to verify his account, and posed in pictures with him.

Only the story of Vasquez joining the Ukrainian Army turned out to be fake. "Kinzinger's favorite Ukraine hero just deleted his account after it came out he is a fraud," Jack Posobiec said.

A representative of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the "ZSU," stated flatly that Vasquez has never had a contract to fight with the Legions of Ukraine, their foreign volunteer outfit.

"He will not be able to show enlistment papers with the ZSU. It is a rigorous process that requires weeks, if not months to complete. Invitation letter, Background checks, physical and intellectual tests, and a contract for either three years or until the end of mobilization.

"To be in ZSU means dedicating your life to ZSU. Not coming and going. Was James at the front? Seems so. Was James in the military? No. It is very specific. There are no special contracts with ZSU units, only Legion Units. I can't speak for Legion but James was not in Legion.

"For the sake of avoiding controversy I stayed out of it while other soldiers, real soldiers, called him out. I met James three times while I was in ZSU, all three times he was a civilian. It was shocking to see him say he was going on a mission to Soledar after we already left.

"But more shocking was the fact that James couldn't legally go on mission since he wasn't in the ZSU. Neither units, not companies, nor battalions can sign a soldier directly to a ZSU contract. It goes through a record/recruiting center and then to Brigade level."

...


In the March 2022 story, Newsweek quoted James Vasquez, saying "Alright. So far, we took out seven Russian tanks, after a long fire fight we took control of the area."

Kinzinger endorses anything fake having to do with Ukraine, so he also endorsed an organization called "Ripley's Heroes," supposedly established to raise money to arm the Ukranians.

The organization is now under federal investigation. A New York Times article describes the allegations. Ripley's Heroes, allegedly, bought optics technology on the restricted export list and sent it to our New Palz in Ukraine without bothering to get an export control waiver.

In fact, they seem to have made a straw purchase, concealing the identity of the buyer and the intended recipient.

Last spring, a volunteer group called Ripley’s Heroes said it had spent approximately $63,000 on night-vision and thermal optics. Some of the equipment was subject to American export restrictions because, in the wrong hands, it could give enemies a battlefield advantage.

Frontline volunteers said Ripley's delivered the equipment to Ukraine without required documentation listing the actual buyers and recipients. Recently, the federal authorities began investigating the shipments, U.S. officials said.

In his defense, the group's founder, a retired U.S. Marine named Lt. Col. Hunter Ripley Rawlings IV, provided deal documents to The Times. But those records show that, just as the volunteers said, Ripley's was not disclosed to the State Department as the buyer.

In addition, the group raised over $1 million, but only a fraction of that has been spent on arming anyone. The Times details less than $100,000 of equipment being purchased.

Ripley's says it has raised over $1 million, some of it thanks to the former Connecticut contractor, Mr. Vasquez, who claimed to be the group's chief strategy officer and promoted Ripley's to his online audience.

Ripley's spent around $25,000 on remote-control reconnaissance cars last year, but they never arrived, shipping records show. Colonel Rawlings said Polish authorities held them up over legal concerns.

While "Ripley's Heroes" has applied for nonprofit status, he won't reveal where the money is going to the Times. He would have to do that if he were a legally-recognized nonprofit, so why is he refusing?

Colonel Rawlings has said that his group is awaiting American nonprofit status. But he has not revealed his spending or proof of a nonprofit application to The Times or to donors who have asked. So it is not clear where the money is going. "I believed these guys," said Shaun Stants, who said he organized a fund-raiser in October in Pittsburgh but was never shown the financial records he asked for. "And they took me for a fool."

Corporate records in Poland and the U.S. show that Colonel Rawlings also started a for-profit company called Iron Forge. In an interview, he said he expected his charity and others to pay Iron Forge for transportation, meaning donor money would be used to finance his private venture. But he said no conflict of interest existed because Iron Forge would ultimately send money back to the charities. Details are being worked out, he said.

None of that sounds real to me.

So Kinzinger started by endorsing a fake soldier and would up endorsing a fake armament "charity."

In fact, he was on the board of advisors of "Ripley's Heroes."


Via Bonchie at RedState.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:03 PM

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