Report: GOP Senate Candidate Leading Scam Veterans Charity
Tommy Tuberville, a former football coach and Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, appears to be running a charity aimed at helping America’s veterans that has spent little to no money on its cause, according to Lincoln Project strategist and veterans’ advocate Fred Wellman.
Wellman detailed the scheme in a Twitter thread.
- Wellman said he began looking at the “IRS Form 990's for the Tommy Tuberville Foundation after reading how so little of the money went to the mission of supporting veterans,” noting that having spent a decade advocating for veterans, he has seen this many times before.
- The 990s Wellman examined were published by ProPublica, as they were not to be found on the foundation’s website, he said. He also said the website does not include “any information about the officers, legal framework or donations.”
- However, he noted: “But, you will find out how AWESOME TOMMY IS and how much he loves the troops!”
- Wellman said the foundation’s “accounting and paperwork is an absolute mess,
with “Different forms every year, different addresses, wildly missed reporting numbers, totals that don't add up and bizarre financial choices.”
- His conclusion? “At a minimum the foundation has been incredibly poorly and unprofessionally managed. At worst its a sham.”
Let's talk about the numbers. He founded it in 2014 for $645 in New Lenox, IL filing a 990EZ. Then in 2015 they held a single golf fundraiser that made a whopping $117,688. It cost $24,224 to run. The single biggest event cash haul they had from 2014 to 2018.
Thus $93,464 went into the bank. So, they say they gave money to renovate veterans homes. Good mission. The 990 says $8763 went to materials...and $6390 went to promotional materials. Yes 42% of the $15,153 expense went to promoting...the effort itself. Strange choice.
The 2015 990EZ is a mess. It only shows $8763 for home renovations and $11,365 for "Community Outreach and Education" which is said to be detailed in Schedule O. It's not. $43,838 went to professional fees/contractors. So, $93K raised and $20K went to the charitable mission?
- In 2016, the foundation spent even more on professional fees and contractors, totaling $14,000 more than was spent on its mission, Wellman reported.
- In 2017, it appears that Tuberville’s foundation spent absolutely nothing on charitable giving, despite claiming to bring in $50,087 for the year. Documented spending includes “$7503 on legal fees; $27,369 bought a truck; $5800 on marketing; $5992 on meals and entertainment,” Wellman wrote.
In the most generous accounting over the life of this foundation its given just 33 to 38% of its funds/expenses to its mission. Got a nice truck. Got some good meals. Paid a lot of contractors. It's all suspicious as all get out.
- Wellman wrapped up his Twitter thread noting that “990’s are complicated but the bottom line is at a minimum this is a monumentally badly managed foundation and at worse...it's a sham and nothing but a branding effort using veterans to burnish Tommy's image.”
Read the full thread: