The Utah Veterans of Foreign Wars filed suit Wednesday claiming a Texas-based fund-raiser they hired discredited them and cheated them of at least $20,000.

The non-profit corporation based in Salt Lake County, sued Gerald T. Kreitz, a Texas man doing business as Kreitz and Associates and also as Western Tele Promotions.The suit says Kreitz is in the business of raising funds for charitable organizations and sometimes uses the name VFW Promotions. The Utah VFW engaged him to raise funds through the sale of merchandise so the group could buy television sets for the Veterans Administration Medical Center and other charitable projects.

The suit claims Kreitz did not forward money collected or account for it. "Flags which were to be stocked were not stocked; trash bags that were sold by the defendant were of a poor and unacceptable quality," and donations were not properly accounted for, it says.

It charges that sometimes donations were fraudulently treated as sale of merchandise instead of outright charitable gifts to the VFW.

Kreitz used telephone solicitation "verbiage" that was not authorized by the VFW and was misleading to the public.