L.A. Times takes us through a part of Abramoff that we haven’t heard much
about, his abuse of charities.
WASHINGTON ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â In his own way, disgraced super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff
engaged in many charitable endeavors over the course of his decade-long
career as a Washington insider.
There was the time he laundered money through a religious group’s
accounts to try to bribe a congressional aide. He diverted funds from a
youth athletic foundation to bankroll a golf junket for a congressman and to
bolster the bank account of his Washington restaurant. He used two other
nonprofits to line his own pockets with millions of dollars defrauded from
Charities are supposed to advance the public interest, which is why they
aren’t taxed. But Abramoff, by his own admission, used them to evade taxes,
enrich himself and bribe public officials, according to a plea agreement he
signed with federal prosecutors in January.
“One of the most disturbing elements of this whole sordid story is the
blatant misuse of charities in a scheme to peddle political influence,” said
Mark Everson, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
Abramoff’s use and misuse of nonprofits played a key role in each of the
three counts of his indictment: conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion. He
admitted evading $1.7 million in income taxes over three years, in part by
using nonprofits to conceal personal income from the IRS.
The fast-growing ranks of tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations are
tailor-made for operators like Abramoff.
It is a rather long but very informative article so I encourage you to read
it in full.
This article has left me wondering how much influence Abramoff has had on
Bush when it comes to push pandering for more charities to replace government
services. Perhaps this is the prelude to the Abramoff/Bush relationship that we
haven’t heard about and that the White House has been working non stop to try
and cover up.