COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- WINK News has new developments in the controversy surrounding Naples "Toys for Tots" program. The Naples Marine Corps chapter no longer runs the foundation.
For months, we've been following a criminal investigation into the misuse of money meant for needy children. WINK spoke to "life members" who say they were forced out for speaking up.
"I've been ostracized, insulted, intimidated, assaulted and as you know finally I have been expelled," said former league member Robert Knee.
Two life members, who put in a combined number of more than four decades with the Naples Marine Corps say they've been kicked out, with no hope of reinstatement.
"There is a part of me that's torn, 30 years of my life has just been disrupted," said Knee.
Robert Knee and Gary Shanabarger agree they were targeted for calling an investigation into the alleged mishandling of money and altering checks with the Toys for Tots foundation.
"I found checks thats were made out to Toys for Tots, but on the backside of them they were stamped Naples Marine Corps League and I also found evidence of a secret bank account," said Gary Shanabarger.
WINK News reached out to the local Marine Corps chapter for answers and got this statement from its attorney.
"It's a shame that a few disgruntled former members of the local Marine Corps League decided to spread falsehoods."
Knee says his official discharge letter says he was expelled for disrupting a meeting.
"I no sooner got a few words out of my mouth and people were booing and hollering, saying I was out of order, telling me to sit down and shut up."
And Shanaberger says he found out he was ousted, through an email.
"It says I sent threatening to the state officers."
"No! I sent an email to some of my friends and they took the email and twisted it around."
The corps attorney, Jerry Berry, says an accountant went through the financial records and found every dollar collected went to buy toys for the children.
He also says when the investigation is done it will show there was no wrongdoing.