Saturday, May 10, 2008
[T]he U.S. attorney is investigating his nonprofit group, a probe that an undeterred Sharpton brushes off as the kind of annoyance that civil rights figures have come to expect from the government. "Whatever retaliation they do on me, we never stop," he told the AP. "I think that that is why they try to intimidate us."
Over the past year, Sharpton's lawyers and the staff of his nonprofit group, the National Action Network, have been negotiating with the federal government over the size of his debt, which they dispute. The group has also been trying to pay off tens of thousands of dollars it owes for failing to properly maintain workers compensation and unemployment insurance. ...
Sharpton's own debts include $365,558 owed in New York City income tax and $931,397 in unpaid federal income tax, according to a lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service last spring. His for-profit company, Rev. Al Communications, owes the state another $175,962 in delinquent taxes. As for Sharpton's personal tax debt, King said Sharpton has started paying it off but contends that faulty record-keeping by the National Action Network led the government to overestimate his tax liability.
Tax headaches are nothing new for Sharpton. The 53-year-old minister has been assailed over his career for running up big tax debts and failing to abide by rules governing his charities and election committees. He is perpetually being sued for failing to pay his bills
In December, Sharpton revealed that as many as 10 of his associates had received grand jury subpoenas. A person familiar with the investigation told the AP that the FBI and IRS are probing whether Sharpton or his organization committed tax crimes or violations related to his 2004 presidential campaign, during which he was forced to return public matching funds for breaking fundraising rules.
(Hat Tip: Ann Murphy.)