Friday, December 6, 2013

Another Celebrity Under Investigation By The IRS And A Grand Jury

by Gary Snyder

Nonprofit Imperative has warned donors to be cautious in giving money to celebrity charities.

A beloved Hall of Fame member of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia and former TV sports director Don Tollefson’s charity solicitations 's have been raising eyebrows...for more than a decade

Now there is a multi-jurisdictional criminal probe into the alleged scams in which he was involved. "It's a monster right now," said Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Hyde, who specializes in complex white-collar cases, of the Tollefson investigation. "We've talked with more than 100 victims. It's a sizable amount of money."

The questions go way back.

Tollefson failed to deliver money to a cancer patient at least 10 years ago after Winning Ways raised money in conjunction with a player from the defunct women's soccer team, the Philadelphia Charge, according to a source. None of at least four charities associated with Tollefson - Winning Ways, One Child Saved, Employ Young Adults and - appears to be registered with the IRS. The website for One Child Saved has been taken down, but a cached version of the site says One Child Saved and Winning Ways are 501(c)(3) nonprofits and that all donations are tax-deductible. 

Investigators are trying to determine how some of that money was spent. Tollefson's off-the-grid charities do not appear to have filed the paperwork typically required of nonprofits. 

“In order for it to be tax deductible at all, they would have to have an IRS determination," said Greg McRay, chief executive of the Foundation Group, which assists nonprofits. (source)

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: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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