Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Million $ A Year From Charity Is Not Enough

by Gary Snyder

Educational Housing Services, a nonprofit, controls more than 5,000 student rooms in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The company has certainly been charitable to its founder and president, George Scott, and his family. The nonprofit has paid him an average of $1 million a year since 2007 and loaned him $55,000 to pay off personal expenses on his American Express card—a year he raked in $926,334 - without a written agreement, filings show. The five-member board approved it and that board has done alright for itself, too. Three directors got consultant jobs, including one who was paid $143,000 for "financial consulting." The company paid Scott’s wife's firm $4.9 million in 2009 for cable, phone and Internet service to his dorms. His wife, Yun (Suki) Scott, sole owner of Student Services Inc., has reaped $15 million from her husband's charity since 2003. Educational Housing Services, which Scott founded in 1987, is the largest provider of off-campus college dorms in the city, with eight facilities.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is looking at EHS' finances in an inquiry that records show began last year. His charities bureau has ordered EHS to provide "clarification and documentation" on "various issues." A spokesman for CUNY, which refers students from six colleges to EHS dorms, said the school was "deeply concerned about the allegations."
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