Stacey Abrams' 'New Georgia Project' Under Fire After $500,000 Discrepancy Reportedly Found in Tax Records
Following the money in Stacey Abrams' "New Georgia Project" leads to a lot of confusion about where some of it went, according to a new report
Collectively, the project's required annual filings "raise serious questions that warrant a full investigation by both the IRS and Georgia enforcement authorities," said Paul Kamenar, counsel to the ethics watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center, according to the Washington Free Beacon
The Free Beacon examined the federal Form 990 required for major not-for-profits to file with the Internal Revenue Service to show where their money came from and where it went.
The 2021 form for the "New Georgia Project" shows that it paid out $533,846 to the Black Male Initiative, another not-for-profit, for consulting services and gave $67,500 to the group as a grant.
However, when the 2021 form for the Black Male Initiative is perused, there is neither hide nor hair of any mention of that amount of cash from the "New Georgia Project."
"This is something that the Internal Revenue Service should be interested in, particularly with the added element of the former officer possibly pocketing the money,” said Alan Dye, a nonprofit attorney.
"Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark," Dye added, adding that filing a false statement with the federal government is a crime.
Dye is referring to the "New Georgia Project’s" action to boot former CEO Nse Ufot, whose brother Edima Ufot, a former project staffer, is the head of the Black Male Initiative.
The payments are not the only eyebrow-raising feature of the project’s tax forms. The group claimed in its 2020 Form 990 disclosure that it did not pay anything in payroll taxes despite having 173 workers.
"I have no idea how a charity can have 173 paid employees and pay no payroll taxes. It’s just not possible. I can’t answer that question. There should be no excuse for that,” Dye said.
The forms also offer a puzzling picture of who is making what.
The 2021 form says salaries amounted to $5,671,892 in total for 105 employees.
The 2021 form says that in 2020, it paid $19,142,227 for 173 people. The 2020 form as filed listed salaries as $1,914,227. It is unclear which figure is correct,
The 2021 filing said only former CEO Nse Ufot earned a six-figure salary in 2021, but the Free Beacon said a “former high ranking New Georgia Project executive” it did not name said two other people were in the six-figure bracket.
"Such a bizarre discrepancy is highly unusual and certainly cause to question the merits of the accountant," said Scott Walter, the president of the Capital Research Center, a charity watchdog group.
"In a proper accounting firm, at least two or three people would have had to examine the return before sending it to the group, and no such wild error should have been missed,” he said.
Accountant George Lynch said the compensation numbers were "certainly suspicious."
"New Georgia Project's recent tax returns leave so many questions, it's difficult to know where to even begin trying to understand these important documents," said Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of the charity watchdog Americans for Public Trust.
Last month, Washington banned the group from raising money in that state, making it one of 16 states that have taken similar action due to concerns over the group's finances, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.