When John D. Wiley got a phone call last August from a group asking for money to help veterans, he hesitated at first.

The group, called the US Veterans Assistance Foundation, said it was raising money for injured and disabled veterans who were not getting their appropriate benefits, said Wiley, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison chancellor who retired in 2011.

Wiley told the solicitor that the government should care for veterans and ensure they receive their due benefits.

“Even though I don’t think it’s my private citizen’s responsibility, I’m sympathetic to their cause and I will help out,” Wiley said.

He donated $500. 

Though it may sound like one, the US Veterans Assistance Foundation is not a charity. It is a federally registered political action committee, or PAC, a fact the solicitor did not disclose on the call, Wiley said.

Wiley’s donation, along with hundreds of others the PAC has received over the last two years, has not gone to veterans. Instead, it has largely gone into the pockets of the man who established it: Robert Piaro.

“They just played me,” Wiley said, after being asked by a reporter about his donation, and was told that none of the money appeared to assist veterans.

Read more in the Capital Times.