Ted Haggard: Tax Cheat?

August 26, 2007 at 10:37 am 5 comments

ted-haggard-pointing.jpg

UPDATE: New information had been discovered about Haggard and the organization that he is asking you to send money to. It can be found at the end of this post. Man, oh, man.

That’s the question Dan Savage asks over at Slog. I posted a few days ago about Haggard’s new fundraising appeal in which he asks you to pay for his continuing education because the $130,000+ salary that he is still getting from the church that fired him after his forays into gay hookers, drugs and adultery came to light just not enough.

One of Dan’s readers commented:

This strikes me as borderline illegal from a tax perspective. Can you really make a tax-deductible donation to a nonprofit organization, only to have 90% of it be given directly to a specified individual? If the mission of “Families with a Mission” is to provide monetary assistance to Christians in need, maybe. Otherwise, it seems pretty fishy since directly giving money to Ted Haggard would not be tax deductible.

And one of my readers said something similar:

Something else to think about is whether Haggard is encouraging tax fraud by asking people who “need a tax deduction” to route their contribution through “Families With A Mission.”Some years back, I looked into establishing a charitable foundation. I recall that, when I checked the regulations, there’s a prohibition on using a 501(c)(3) organization to aid a single person.

This is tax-lawyer stuff, but the phrasing of Haggard’s solicitation makes it appear as if “Families With A Mission” is nothing but a pass-through device, as opposed to a genuine charitable foundation.

Slog regular Dave C., a lawyer, is now looking into it. Dave says that the rules at irs.gov states forbid 501-C(3)s from handing money over to disgraced former pastors: “…none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.”

Stay tuned…

From the fine folks at Colorado Confidential:

In a handy bit of sleuthing, a blog team at the Stranger in Seattle has followed up this story with some interesting info about the organization that Haggard is asking people to send money to, Families With a Mission.

An independent confirmation with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office shows that the organization’s corporate offices were moved from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to the Town of Monument, north of Colorado Springs, in July, 2003.

Its Colorado Springs mailing address is the same one to which Haggard is asking people to send donations. However, Secretary of State records show that Families With a Mission was administratively dissolved earlier this year, on Feb. 23.

And the man who is listed as the president of Families With a Mission, Paul Gerard Huberty, appears to be the same Paul Huberty who was convicted in 1996 of having sex with a 17-year old girl while he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force stationed in Germany, and who later registered as a sex offender in Hawaii. The organization Family Watchdog, which tracks sex offenders, currently lists Huberty at the same Monument address that was the principal address of Families With a Mission.

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Entry filed under: Conservatives, Hypocrites, LGBT, Religion, Republicans.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. phil_in_ny  |  August 26, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    I just did a piece on Ted Haggard as well, but I discussed the fact that he wants his following to help finance his graduate school education. I didn’t know about the tax fraud issue though.

    Reply
  • 2. PB and J  |  August 26, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    blogga

    its is amazingly sad that there are frauds like Haggard. i know there are “Christians” out there who dont participate in such ridiculous scams, cuz i am one. i was talking to my wife earlier tonight about selling our car, for instance.

    we have an older model Honda Accord that still runs very well, BUT in order to pass inspection it needs a new catalytic converter. we are planning on selling it and getting another used car with less mileage and more space (minivan). well, we could easily turn off the check engine light (as this is very simple) and then sell it to some unwitting buyer who would then have to pay for a new converter come inspection time.

    however, we both, separately, came to the same conclusion how horrible this would be. we are going to be totally up front with whoever looks at the car. this isnt just cuz people might see us, its because we dont want to hurt someone else. i share this not to be “holier than thou”, but because there are so many people i know (“Christians”) who sell cars intentionally not telling the other people about the faults of the car.

    very sad when people, especially those who claim to be “ministers” do such messed up stuff.

    peter

    Reply
  • 3. Bloggernista  |  August 26, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    There are some amazing ministers who do really wonderful work. Unfortunately, Haggard is not one of them. The things that Haggard and others like him do often overshadows the good work that truly compassionate ministers/Christians do.

    Reply
  • 4. Princess Angel  |  September 8, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    As far as taxes go, see the film “Freedom to Fascism” by award winning director Aaron Russo. We are being illegally taxed. There is truly no legal tax law requiring us to pay taxes. But we are being forced to pay taxes with the threat of being deprived of our liberty, land, homes, etc. if we don’t. It is a well documented film. Also see “Loose Change II” for another wake up call. As for Ted…we all need to repent of the sins in our own lives & pray for others. We all need to stop being willfully ignorant of the facts of the truth of what is happening to us as a nation & people. With courage to take hold of our souls & heart to deal with the truth the right way.

    Reply
  • 5. Lee  |  October 18, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Tax cheat Warren Buffet is today promoting adjusting the tax laws so guys like him don’t underpay.
    Please!
    He sets his own artificially low salary to avoid the up to 50% load of other citizens. Sure, he deserves the 15% rate for his investments, but by gaming the system then whining about tax unfairness….well, he’s just a whining wimp. You would thing at 70 + years old, he could afford (ethically) to be honest.

    Reply

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