Apr 24, 2015 3:40 PM
They put their lives on the line for our freedom. And when the time came, some N.H. veterans wanted to find out about their government benefits, which is when an N.H. man saw that as a lucrative way to make money.
Charles Balanoff of Plaistow is the president of Eldercare Advantage, and he claims he helps out veterans. The trouble is the Attorney General's Office says he helped himself - taking 76 veterans to the cleaners.
"I think it's disgusting," said Jimmy Houle, a Salem veteran. "That Balanoff had been overcharging vets big bucks for services he couldn't legally give them."
There was some representations that he was a financial planner and that he also provided legal services. Was he a financial planner? No. Was he an attorney? No. Neither.
The vets, all looking for in help in applying for federal aid and other benefits go though the V-A.
"Most of these services could actually be free through a veterans' service organization,"said James Boffetti of the NH Attorney General’s Office.
The State says he charged vets as much as $750.
Balanoff never kept records of most of his work. As a part of the settlement with the state, he's agreed to change his website and not misrepresent himself or his services in addition to being monitored.
He'll have to pay the $2,500 cost of the investigation. Vets like Houle say that's just a slap on the wrist.
"This man should be penalized seriously," Houle said.
Balanoff is licensed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department.
Eldercare Advantage has already made changes to its website.
For more information on any costs for services, click this link.
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