The read of the day today is a long article by Ken Silverstein at Byline.com explaining the hole the Clinton Foundation is in over amending its IRS filings. You see, the slush fund has a lot of ‘splainin to do, and:
Last April, Clinton Foundation acting CEO Maura Pally acknowledged “mistakes” in its tax filings and promised they would be corrected by November 16.
There are potential felonies involved:
[I]t will be difficult if not impossible for the foundation to amend its financial returns without acknowledging accounting fraud and admitting that it generated substantial private gain for directors, insiders and Clinton cronies, all of which is against the law under an IRS rule called inurement.
While inurement may sound obscure to the layman, it’s an ancient legal principle and the IRS is very clear that it is verboten. If you are familiar with it, it becomes immediately clear that Bill Clinton – and arguably Hillary and daughter Chelsea as family members and fellow Clinton Foundation trustees – could have big problems come November 16. So, too, could Clinton cronies like Ira Magaziner (see below) and Doug Band, a Clinton administration and former Foundation insider who subsequently became a founding partner of a bipartisan business swamp called Teneo Holdings.
Financial whistleblower Charles Ortel:
… a former managing director of Dillon, Read & Co, said that under New York law tax authorities don’t have to show criminal intent to get convictions against foundation officials, they need only show that the foundation filed materially misleading financial information and kept fundraising nonetheless. “The essence of what a charity does is take your money and show you how they spend it,” he told me. “The Clinton Foundation takes your money and obscures how they spend it.” (Note that the Clinton Foundation only started disclosing its donors in 2008, in response to years of pressure.)
… the Clinton Foundation has received more than $1 billion over the years to purchase HIV/AIDS drugs for poor people in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. The leading donors to the foundation to support this admirable goal include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UNITAID.
However, a unit set up to receive the money – the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative Inc., which was run by Ira Magaziner, a Clinton administration veteran with close ties to Hillary – clearly spent far, far less than it took in. In fact, the unit’s accounting methods and operating practices were so shoddy that its license was revoked by the state of Massachusetts, where it was headquartered.
Furthermore, the accounting firm that handled much of the paperwork, BKD, has been implicated in a variety of misconduct. For example, last year the Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned BKD for “violating auditor independence rules when they prepared the financial statements of brokerage firms that were their audit clients,” according to this story. (snip)
The problem, Ortel says, is that filing correct returns is impossible for the Clinton Foundation without admitting to criminal felonies. “The foundation has never filed a legitimate, independently certified and complete audit of their financial statements since it was founded, as is required under state, federal and foreign law” he told me during one of multiple phone conversations. “The IRS has let them get away with serious fraud.”
Now that Lois Lerner has escaped prosecution, perhaps the IRS feels free to simply excuse Democrats and persecute Republicans. Nonetheless, the Clinton Foundation filings will be public documents. I’d sure like to know what happened to that billion dollars raised for AIDS.