Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Those Big Yellow Bins Enrich Few

by Gary Snyder

Those big, yellow bins collect a lot of stuff. There more than 1,000 of the bins in the DC area. Planet Aid’s tax records show the non-profit brought in almost $30 million in 2007 by selling the donated items.

But an examination of most recent tax records, Fox News investigators in DC noticed many of the African charities that were to be recipients of the donations had the same address. Planet Aid claims it gave more than $2 million to about a dozen charities in South Africa, for instance. But all of those charities have the post office box in Johannesburg. Investigators found all of the charities listed in Planet Aid’s most recent tax returns are controlled by the same parent organization, a group called International Humana People to People Movement, who according to its own website, also controls Planet Aid.

British, French and Belgians shut down Humana controlled groups after officials found the money wasn’t being used for charity. Investigators say the money paid for multi-million dollar homes, a yacht and off-shore bank accounts controlled by a Danish man named Amdi Pedersen. Pedersen instructed his followers to ensure the money was “protected from theft, taxation and prying by unauthorized persons” by creating a financial network so complex, it would become “a twisted access path with only ourselves as compass holders.”

Danish authorities say Pedersen controls as much as $850 million. Rick Ross, a cult expert, says “Amdi Pedersen has control with a small group of leaders at the top and they control everything,”. “All of the charities, all of the people, all of the cash flow.”

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, , Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)
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