Thomas Kallies Nov. 11, 2013, 9:25am

The Brideport post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is suing the leaders of its organization, claiming they stole money from the non-profit group.

The VFW's Bridgeport Post 5079 filed suit in the Cook County Circuit Court on Oct. 30 against Manuel Herrera and Jonathan L. Cooper, as well as Metropolitan Bank Group Inc.

According to the suit, Herrera was elected to the highest position within the organization and oversaw the disbursement of all of its funds. Cooper was elected as the quartermaster, who is responsible for all organizational funds and property and must sign each check issued by the organization.

In the suit, the VFW post claims Herrera modified the organization's account information so that all communications between him and the bank went to his personal phone and home address.

The post accuses Herrera and Cooper of withdrawing more than $30,000 of organization funds without approval.

The suit includes counts against Cooper and Herrera for breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and civil conspiracy. In addition, the VFW post is suing Metropolitan Bank Group for negligence, as well as breaching its fiduciary duty owed to the post.

The VFW post is seeking more than $30,000 in damages and is represented by Chicago attorney Anthony J. Peraica.

Circuit Court of Cook County Case No. 2013L011989.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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