In May 2011, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the Barack H. Obama Foundation, which was soliciting tax-deductible contributions from the public although it was not tax exempt. The Foundation is named for Obama's father and is based in Kenya. Its founder and chairman is Abon'go Malik Obama, whose father is also the father of President Obama.
By any reasonable standard, Reverend Al Sharpton is the most powerful black civil-rights leader in New York City, if not the entire nation. So why are the finances of his nearly two-decade-old nonprofit organization, National Action Network (NAN), in such apparent shambles? A number of people, including the IRS, a prominent New York accounting firm and the management of Memphis' finest hotel, would like to know. Ironically, the group's troubles, highlighted in a recent investigative report appearing in the New York Post, have occurred despite an infusion of more than $100,000 from a philanthropy driven by one of America's richest men. One dreads to think what the federal deficit would look like today had Sharpton been elected president in 2004.
His name was Joseph Castello. But for years he was known to his associates as "Joey Checks." That's because for almost a decade Castello handled other peoples' checks - more than $600 million worth, in fact. And about a third of that sum was laundered. On July 7, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, ruled that Castello had to pay forfeiture in the amount of $12,012,924.31 and vacate all claims to his $9 million Greenwich, Connecticut home. The decision reverses an earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Leonard Wexler who had deemed any forfeiture excessive. Evidence indicates the circuit court made the right call.
Homeownership as a moral right has been the great unspoken reason for the nation's financial collapse of the past year and a half. And unfortunately Congress and successive administrations appear all too willing to recreate the very conditions that led to the disaster. President Obama today signed a $24 billion economic stimulus bill one of whose main features is an extension and expansion of a "temporary" first-time homebuyer tax credit worth up to $8,000 per household. The House and Senate each passed the measure earlier this week by the respective margins of 403-12 and 98-0. In so doing, lawmakers laid the groundwork for even more inefficiency and corruption.
Despite its brief existence, the federal government's $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers already has proven to be a costly boondoggle. And in what appears to be an act of unintended comedy, Congress is primed to extend and expand this "temporary" program beyond its November 30 deadline. On Thursday, October 22, J. Russell George, inspector general for the Internal Revenue Service, testified before a House Ways and Means subcommittee that the tax credit has been rife with inefficiency and fraud. Among those scamming the program, he believes, are more than 50 IRS employees. This interim report, George emphasized, if anything, understates the problem.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is fast becoming radioactive to any organization contemplating doing business (or further business) with it. Federal agencies are no exception to the growing list of entities that recently have dropped their ties to the New Orleans-based nonprofit network. The Internal Revenue Service announced yesterday that it no longer would include ACORN as a partner in its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
The massive scandal surrounding the renovation of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) headquarters in Lower Manhattan continues to reverberate. The latest casualty in this union-connected ghost-worker and money-laundering scam is Constantine Vafias, 70, a Brooklyn-based construction contractor. On April 7, Vafias was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to three years probation and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution and $100,000 in forfeiture. Those sums, substantial as they are, represent only a fraction of the total funds siphoned off into the pockets of the lead contractor, two major local unions, various shell companies and the Gambino crime family.
The IRS recently found that the Md. State Tchrs. Assn. (MSTA) avoided paying payroll taxes and denied their organizers employment benefits.In a Feb. 23rd letter to the MSTA, IRS officials said that in 2002 the union wrongly classified its 8 organizers as independent contractors.By doing so, the union staffers responsible for recruiting new members were forced to pay self-employment taxes, and the union avoided paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes.
The Landmark Legal Found. filed an IRS complaint July 20 against the Nat'l Edu. Ass'n. citing new evidence not only of NEA's use of millions of dollars of tax-exempt funds for political purposes, but its extensive campaign coordination activities with DNC. LLF's complaint includes evidence provided to FEC, which released this information to the public on May 2, 2001, but four days later placed the evidence under seal. LLF secured copies of this evidence during the first 48-hours of its public release.
LLF's complaint provides overwhelming evidence of NEA's political activities, including its key role in the "Coordinated Campaign Steering Committee," which set strategy for the election of Democratic candidates. In addition to NEA and DNC, other members of the Committee were AFL-CIO, Clinton-Gore '96, DSCC, DCCC, Democratic Governors' Ass'n, Democratic Leadership Campaign Committee, and the hard-left Emily's List. NEA state groups were also involved.