Saturday, May 10, 2008

Al Sharpton's Tax Troubles

In December of last year, we didn't take much note of this item, "Subpoenas for Al Sharpton's aides", By GREG B. SMITH and LARRY McSHANE
The FBI and IRS are investigating whether Sharpton improperly misstated the amount of money he raised during his 2004 White House run to illegally obtain federal matching funds, a source familiar with the probe said.
Note that the IRS participated in the investigation. The Federal Agents issued subpoenas to 10 of the reverend Sharpton's present and former aides.
As many as 10 people were subpoenaed, [Carl] Redding* said. The court papers also sought a wide range of financial records, from invoices of expenses paid by cash to cash receipts to bad debt records from the years 2001 to 2007. [*Carl Redding was head of Sharpton's Staff for eight years]
The subpoenas summoned reverend Sharpton's associates to testify before a Grand Jury on December 26th, and
The subpoenas additionally called for them to provide the IRS with all financial records from the campaign and a half-dozen Sharpton-related businesses. [Emphasis mine]
Now let's fast-froward 6 months to this article, "Al Sharpton Under Fire", from CBS News.
Government records obtained by The Associated Press indicate that Sharpton and his business entities owe nearly $1.5 million in overdue taxes and associated penalties.
Since the records were obtained by the AP as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request, it is possible that the December 2007 subpoenas had nothing to do with this IRS claimed deficiency. It is also possible that the Grand Jury testimony and documents turned over to the IRS could have bolstered the Government's claim, or the Tax Levies could have been assesed as a result of the December 2007 investigation. In either case reverend Sharpton has TAX troubles with the IRS and New York City.
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.
From the article we learn that reverend
... 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 [Emphasis mine].
The phrasing of the last quote is interesting. The quote implies that reverend Sharpton agrees he is delinquent - it is only the amount of his tax liability that's in question.

From the article it would also appear that the December 2007 Grand Jury and IRS investigation is still in progress.
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.
This is not the first time the reverend Sharpton has been investigated. But none of his past investigations have resulted in serious penalties.
In 1990, he was acquitted of tax fraud and charges that he stole from one of his charities. He followed that up with what was essentially another victory in a tax case by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to file a state return
.We shall await further developments.

No comments: