Friday, June 20, 2008
From today's New York Daily News: Sharpton Gets Big Gun to Fend Off Feds, by John Marzulli:
Facing an escalating federal probe into his charity's finances, the Rev. Al Sharpton now has his own muscle: former Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter. Sharpton said Thursday he hired Carter - a respected ex-prosecutor - to represent him and his National Action Network because he thinks the probe has become politicized. ...
Prosecutors and the IRS have been investigating whether Sharpton misstated the amount of money he raised during his 2004 run for President in order to qualify for matching federal funds. They are also looking into possible tax fraud involving the reverend and NAN.
Recently, the probe took a new turn, sources said, when subpoenas were served on several corporations that have donated money to the charity. The move prompted speculation that the feds are examining whether the payments were made in response to threats by Sharpton of boycotts and demonstrations. ...
On Wednesday, Sharpton wrote a letter to Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, requesting a review of the Brooklyn U.S. attorney's actions for possible "abuse of power," a Sharpton spokeswoman said. ... Sharpton and NAN owe several million dollars in back taxes, but Sharpton attributed the problem to a fire at his Harlem headquarters that destroyed many records. Much of the amount owed consists of penalties he's vigorously disputing.
See also today's editorial in the New York Post: The Rev Doth Protest:
There's plenty of grist for the mill, like:
- The $1.9 million in payroll taxes and penalties that NAN owed as of 2006.
- The $175,962 in state taxes that Sharpton's profit-making company owes.
- The $1.3 million in federal and local taxes that Sharpton owes personally.
- The rev's 2004 presidential campaign, in which federal matching funds - tax dollars - financed Sharpton's stays in swanky hotels.
For more, see:
- Facing Federal Probes, Sharpton Hires Ex-Prosecutor (ABC News)
- Probe Feds Who Probe Me: Al Seeks Help From Conyers (New York Post)
- Subpoena Blitz Puts Heat on Al IRS Seeks Info From Top Donors (New York Post)
For prior TaxProf Blog coverage, see here.