Wednesday, September 7, 2011
[Jay] Sekulow, a celebrity among conservative Christians, now sits as the principal officer of two closely related multimillion-dollar legal charities: Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, which he founded in San Francisco, and the better-known American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson and based in Virginia Beach....
Along with its spiritual benefits, Sekulow’s new calling has come with significant financial benefits. Since 1998, the two charities have paid out more than $33 million to members of Sekulow’s family and businesses they own or co-own, according to the charities’ federal tax returns, known as form 990s.
One of the charities is controlled by the Sekulow family — tax documents show that all four of CASE’s board members are Sekulows and another is an officer — an arrangement criticized by a nonprofit watchdog group. ...
The American Center for Law and Justice’s tax attorney says the payments to the Sekulows and businesses they own or co-own are all made for the charities’ benefit and have passed an IRS audit. Sekulow’s supporters ... say he is a humble man dedicated to the Christian cause.
Members of the Sekulow family declined requests for interviews. John Hoover, a Washington, D.C.-based tax attorney with Dow Lohnes who advises ACLJ, responded to written questions from The Tennessean. “The arrangements between ACLJ, CASE, and companies of which Jay Sekulow has an ownership interest are on terms and conditions more advantageous than the organizations could obtain otherwise,” he wrote.
- ABA Journal, Lawyer Jay Sekulow’s Christian Calling Comes with Big Payday
- ACLJ Press Release, Flawed & Biased Look at ACLJ and Jay Sekulow
- Associated Press, $33M in Charity Payments to CEO, Family
- Christian Post, ACLJ Responds to Newspaper 'Attack' on Jay Sekulow
- USA Today, Tenn. Lawyer's Family, Firm Collect Millions From Charities