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Archive for July 2020

CBMA and CFUF in #BlackLivesMatter: What’s Up Now, 2020, with (Famous-Foundations-sponsored-) Campaigns for Black MALE Achievement and (Still U.S. Gov’t-Sponsored-) Centers for Urban Families (fka “Fathers”)? [Started June 20, 2020, Publ. July 8].

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Today’s post:

CBMA and CFUF in #BlackLivesMatter: What’s Up Now, 2020, with (Famous-Foundations-sponsored-) Campaigns for Black MALE Achievement and (Still U.S. Gov’t-Sponsored-) Centers for Urban Families (fka “Fathers”)? [Started June 20, 2020, Publ. July_8]. short-link ends “-cVS”

In case the acronyms CBMA and CFUF, are unfamiliar, I’ve started with two images of search results for these nonprofits’ tax returns showing the full names for each, and that the latter has a second related entity (CFUF Fund) and (when live links to tax returns are provided separately) the former did not incorporate (in New York) until late 2014, first gaining speed under a major (California) community foundation which itself was created through merger, only 2006, and which I’ve blogged (red-flagged, as also has the media) several times before.

Technicalities and Hindrances looking up ANY tax returns on private databases:

Be aware, however, that the source for the images (The Foundation Center, Inc.’s Candid.org database) often gets the organization names wrong, which names should be always checked by clicking through to the tax returns themselves, and/or checked at the Secretary of State (for corporations) or, if it applies (and it does in NY), Attorney-General’s Office, or whatever department or division regulates charities and nonprofits at the state level, in the USA.

(Click on http://foundationcenter.org; you’ll be redirected to “candid.org,” but new website change doesn’t necessarily mean a business entity. It may or may not, and this time, FoundationCenter is acting as though it had, but withholding from the public paperwork proving that it did, while on its own pages, characterizing “Candid.org” as having the same EIN# as The Foundation Center.

This time, the Candid.org got both names basically right, but its own name (“Candid” is a dba) wrong.  I’m going to update available information on this, separately, but I raised the issue two years ago (June, 2018). Interesting when you consider a half year later, The Foundation Center and Guidestar announced their mergers they’d been talking about (says the NPQ, NonProfitQuarterly, which I found searching this out (I’m not a subscriber) this time round) since 2013.

The Availability and Reliability of On-Line Databases (Private or Public) is a Major  Obstacle to Accountability | Footnotes to “Censorship by Omission” Page [Publ. June 3, 2018]. It has a case-sensitive shortlink ending “-8ZF” and, for a change, is short.

[[TOPICS INCLUDE:  the largest multi-billion-dollar Forms 990 or 990PF on the search results, including the Wellcome Trust, the Arab Fund, and several Ivy League Colleges’ endowments, several of them named (in database provider’s search results” page) completely “off,” i.e., the attached Form 990 in pdf form (when you click through) has a different name. Healthcare and insurance entities also tend to be huge.  My post connects that topic to court-connected nonprofits (obviously much smaller) and highlights just how large the largest (non-government) tax-exempt entities are, not only the major failings of (the free-access version at least) of databases reporting on their assets..]]

Should I finish another post on this topic, it will be at this link under this or a similar name:

The Foundation Center, Inc.’s + Guidestar, Inc.’s Feb. 2019 Merger and Delayed Filings Obfuscate WTF is (or, is not) Candid.org  aka, massive philanthropic obstruction and obfuscation — keep the public waiting,while moving private purposes forward faster.  (short-link ends “-cEl”<~last character is lower-case “L.”)  NB:  THIS IS A DRAFT as of July 7, 2020. It refers to and builds upon my recent Twitter thread on the February, 2019 merger of The Foundation Center and Guidestar, illustrating problems with delayed publications  or postings of tax returns and business language used on websites to announce and advertise the new leadership while putting actual entity status in such terms as can’t or won’t be fact-checkable til a year or more “after the fact.”

I mention it here because to look at an organization’s tax returns which refuses to post them, or even its own EIN#(s, if plural) on its website, leaves an open-ended question: Who’s most responsible for the delay, and why aren’t organizations filing timely or openly to start with?  That’s a “buyer-beware” situation throughout.  Meanwhile the private tax-exempt-corporation-run major databases which might provide information groups like CFUF (and the organizations some of its board of directors also run, such as the Warnock Family Foundation (posted without the word “Family” on the website and no EIN# or financials) won’t advertise openly, i.e., deliberately “forget” to post, are creating even more accountability problems: (i.e., TheFoundationCenter, rebranded as “Candid” after “transferring assets from Guidestar.org, and Guidestar.org itself) also don’t post their own timely or others’ timely (or accurately labelled), when the major source of said tax returns is supposedly the IRS, which collects revenues for the United States (federal) Government to apply as our Congress sees fit — including to promote marriage and fatherhood through diversions from welfare.

As such, while I can look at organization websites as they evolve, in analyzing, I don’t have for these two (CBMA and CFUF) (or, generally, for tax-exempt organizations involved dealing with them or their boards of directors either), any tax return for 2019, while websites are describing 2020 facts about their leadership and programming.  While I’m fine-printing it, the organizations meanwhile do their “BIG-Photos-Bright-Colors” gesturing to distract from just how inbred and overlapping are the business interests of those running it.  And in some cases, how crooked.

So, CBMA and CFUF in #BlackLivesMatter: What’s Up Now, 2020, with (Famous-Foundations-sponsored-) Campaigns for Black MALE Achievement and (Still U.S. Gov’t-Sponsored-) Centers for Urban Families (fka “Fathers”)? [Started June 20, 2020, Publ. July_8]. (short-link ends “-cvS”)

One is in New York (legal domicile Delaware) and the other in Baltimore, Maryland. After the two images of tax returns (the last three years for each), starting with the latest available tax returns, I have some “get-acquainted” quotes or profiles of the CFUF Chairman of the Board, CEO, and a self-descriptive quote or so from the latest available tax return.  Further down, (and closer to the starting point of this post), I reference CBMA’s original fiscal sponsor (Silicon Valley Community Foundation, I’d posted on it several times– exactly where, links provided below), some of the website’s displayed current CEO’s bio blurb (Shawn Dove), some of his “bio blurb” reference involved a former Secretary of State of New Jersey (<~Wiki), and reverend, who has perfected the multi-tax-exempt entity business model sold as helping communities become debt-free and under the umbrella of community development, obviously some religious responsibility… [it] recruits and trains churches, agencies and community organizations to use [its] unique and proven strategies for recruiting families to foster and adopt children.   Naturally, trademarks were involved.

A few paragraphs here — covered in more detail further down — added July 17, after publishing this post.  I believe the “charitable immunity act” (from torts, i.e., responsibility), new to me, important to notice. Perhaps this may explain why privatizing government functions specifically into non-profit “charities” (very broadly defined) is so popular.  This added section in fine print and a different-colored background mark its beginning and end…

Search results on this act brought up an interesting (though long) 2005 article published by Villanova University (Charles Widger School of Law). I have been reading; it puts a well-annotated timeline to the use of this immunity and the emergence (1980s) publicizing clergy abuse and subsequent lawsuits.  See in pdf format here:

‘Secrecy+Settlements: Is the New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act Justified in Light of Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis?’ by Samantha Kluxen Barbera (a second click on blank  page icon may be needed to view).


One of the entities was sued for facilitating child abuse of a minor child the entity helped (with primary funding, government grants, per its tax returns) place with a family privately.  “Anal and oral penetration” of an infant, or very young boy, were involved, the case was settled (DCFS to pay) for $1.25 million dollars, not before the entity (formed by the above pastor and first tried out on his church members) pleaded “immune” under NJ Charitable Immunity Act:

Charitable Immunity Amended, but Still a Viable Defense

Michael Spero, New Jersey Law Journal, February 5, 2015

…The New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act bars negligence claims against a nonprofit corporation organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes.   [Link is a short explanation posted at what looks like a law firm, dated Feb., 2015, published in NJ Law Journal, © 2015 ALM Media Properties, LLC].

Straightforward explanation (and interesting examples) showing history of the law, certain exclusions, and what a nonprofit must prove (not much!) to invoke it, including that the plaintiff was a beneficiary:

…Originating in 19th century Britain, charitable immunity insulates a charitable organization from tort liability. The basis for the doctrine was the belief that charitable funds should not be diverted from the purpose for which they were donated. New Jersey followed the doctrine until 1958 when, in two cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court abolished it. Quickly after the Supreme Court decisions, the legislature restored it with temporary legislation, and then in 1959 adopted the Charitable Immunity Act, the purpose of which was to reinstate the common-law doctrine.

Thank you, Eckert Seamans, Cherin and Mellott, LLC (<~leadership page, including Executive, and (scroll down) Members in Charge for each of several offices** for at least saying “Black Lives Matter,” although the leadership profiles (with photos) say, apparently “not here”**… (also echoed in the CFUF director Henry D. Kahn‘s international firm (Hogan & Lovells), linked below, or CFUF’s mutual business interest of director David L. Warnock, Camden Partners Holdings (Meet The Team).  At first glance, yes, but then pick out who are the partners (four partners, all white, one woman) or the “IR, Finances and Operations” (six staff, all look young, not much color there either). Next images are from Eckert, Seamans et. al.whose name only came up when I searched for that NJ Charitable Immunity Law.


** Eckert, Seamans et. al. show offices in: Boston, Buffalo, Charlston (W. Virginia), Harrisburg, Hartford (Connecticut), Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Providence (Rhode Island), Richmond (Virginia), Troy (Michigan), Washington, D.C., White Plains (NY), and Wilmington (Delaware) — how do you avoid hiring individuals who represent “Black Lives” as officer (or firm) leaders in ALL those cities?  Note:  Not a comment on their practices, just how odd it seems to be saying Black Lives Matter, but not demonstrating it on the public face of such a law firm (I also see “family law” not mentioned, at least on first level, on any of the links. Bloomberg.com  describes law firm focus as “Consumer Discretionary”).

The Wikipedia link on the Baptist pastor, above, says of the case, that an appellate three-judge panel overturned a county court granting the foster-care-family training and recruiting tax-exempt entity immunity, based on the percentage of its budget which came straight from government.

Far below, in the CBMA context, I show from the tax returns, and in a few larger, annotated images, how from near the start (as far back in time as I could access), in summarizing past years of support  on its Schedules A, those Forms 990 for the “family services” entity omit, for more than one year, million-dollar government grants, instead reporting the only other contributions it received, in 2002, only about $4,000.

Boilerplate text (complete with mis-spelling on the organization purpose) was repeated year after year.

I hope, but am not confident, that the CBMA CEO was not, in his youth if that’s when he was involved in the same church’s youth ministry, in a type of mentoring relationship where he came to believe that such practices (multiplying nonprofits under the control of VERY few people, practicing on captive (church member) audiences and vulnerable populations (motherless — and fatherless — children) were “good practice,” or otherwise justifiable for the desired ends.

As always, I learned a lot doing these drill-downs, plural.

“What’s Up Now, 2020” only applies to the websites, as the latest financials or anything close to them, for either organization, just aren’t showing up. Some of the delay may be IRS filing deadlines leniency during COVID19 pandemic, but very late-filing while turnover of leadership, websites, and even entity legal business names, isn’t a new thing.

In both cases, the closest year I could find was 2017 (“FYE,” fiscal year ending, December), meaning both entities and CFUF’s related entity) are two-and-a-half years behind as of now, July, 2020.

I included tables with live links to the full tax returns  (the same search results, but copied directly into the post, (rather than screen-shots later uploaded as an image, to the blog and inserted into the post) much lower on this post.  Look for the similar color scheme, same organization names and EIN#s, but “clickable.” There are many such tables, once other involved personnel’s private foundations, or a larger sponsoring foundation (example:  The Abell Foundation, wealth created or at least assets greatly increased when a philanthropist Henry Black sold the publisher of The Baltimore Sun).

Some chairmen and -women or directors of CFUF have been in (or run for) public office, resulting in yet other connections to foundations associated with public-interest projects, i.e., taking government money.

This brought up the 501©3 — 501©4 combo, “Greater Baltimore Committee” (and its Foundation) and “The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Inc.”

One chairman’s background (LinkedIn) I looked at included six years volunteering at Baltimore Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Programs, which relates to the National CASA (“National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association”) which, oddly, chose a major media company for its latest (well, FY2018 shown) campaign based in Las Vegas, Nevada, state where illegal prostitution (far larger business than the legalized version, says Wikipedia) is high — and child-trafficking.  The head of that media company (an LLC, not a tax-exempt organization) has been characterized (I’ll quote it) in 2004 (and since) as “huckster, dealmaker, and fixer extraordinaire,” “the most powerful unelected man in Nevada,” and with clear implications of mob connections.

The volunteering at a local CASA doesn’t make a person a fixer, dealmaker, or equal (per se) having mob connections, or being a crook.  But, it DOES make one in that company when the National CASA is considered, it’s the company one has been keeping.

ALSO (by and large) MOST of the tax-exempt organization’s websites do not offer or provide tax returns, audited financials, or EIN#s, ALL of which are needed to understand their operations.

One CFUF board member for several years, not a household name for me so I simply looked it up (Catherine E. Pugh), was a State Legislator, then briefly Mayor of Baltimore until scandals showed that she was a crook, and how so.  (See Catherine Pugh Wiki, Balletopedia, and this US DOJ announcement (next long quote) from last November, 2019.

Given the variety of people and entities involved, understand how a post on either one (let alone referencing both) entities above will be either very long, or very incomplete. The linear blog form with many links isn’t the ideal format, however, when it is read, and links followed (and read), it’s the understanding (your own comprehension) which can better process how what is being portrayed as simple, often isn’t.  Without looking at the various networks, you don’t comprehend the entities or their behaviors well enough to assess how genuine is the stated purpose.

The real question is, operations.  This next section on Catherine Pugh was added last (not first, where it’s showing up) as I did the drill-downs. I’ve labored on this post long enough and am about to publish.//LGH

You can now access the various documents (unsealed last Nov., posted at Maryland District Courts website Feb. 4, 2020), including indictment, plea agreement, stipulation of facts, and Government’s, then Defendant’s Sentencing Memorandum.  Stipulation of Facts:= in USA v. Catherine E. Pugh:

Pugh did not maintain a personal bank account, choosing instead to comingle her personal and business finances in her business accounts.  [Pugh] filed a U.S. Individual Income Tax Form 1040 for 2015 and 2016, which included Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Form Schedule C for Profit or Loss from a Business (Sole Proprietorship)…

Compare the dates the wire fraud (etc) took place — notice it involved public institutions (Baltimore Public City Schools, “BCPS,” a local charity (Associated Black Charities, Inc. (ABC-MD.org),** had political and self-gain (including tax-evasion) purposes, and involved — as often has to happen when fraud occurs — another civil servant / city employee) with when she was also a volunteer director (1.0 or so a week, with others: there’s only one paid officer, Joseph T. Jones, per the tax returns) with the well-known Center for Urban Families.

**(Looked up after I published this post):  The ABC-MD charity’s main revenue, throughout, is federal grants under the Ryan White (HIV/AIDs) grants.  Its ONLY financial posted on “Financials” page is for audit of FYE2017 and 2018 — not one Form 990, and nothing for any other years.

Yet, according to the signed (by Pugh and her attorney) Stipulation of Facts, the same charity played a major role in facilitating (knowingly or not; seems to me better fact-checking earlier was in order) Pugh & Brown’s varieties of fraud which show little regard for the poor and vulnerable — or the privilege of being in public office as a civil servant.  It’s unbelievable how many other companies and types of companies were involved in donating to the above charity, resulting in the fraud:  a healthcare insurance, auto insurance, Kaiser (a California, primarily, healthcare big player with a presence in Maryland), even a Chicago investment firm. But seems to have started (Count 1 of the Stipulation of Facts) describes with UMMS (University of Maryland Medical System) purchasing books intended for the Boston City Public Schools, and involving this Charity.  One was played off against another, backstopping as about to be caught, lying to their accountants, use of cash, straw donors, etc.   (Upcoming links and quote summarize).

It’s good to be alert to the “how” of such operations involving public institutions and private charities, because it can and no doubt does occur in plenty of places.  Notice:  several companies out of a home address, the types of interrelated businesses they were in, and targeting the nonprofit field and public offices (State Senator, Mayor) (using, no doubt prior involvement IN the public offices as a credibility boost) This quote is only about half (or less) of the Department of Justice press release:

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Pleads Guilty to Federal Conspiracy and Tax Charges

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Thursday, November 21, 2019

. . .According to her plea agreement, from approximately 2007 through 2016 Pugh served in the Maryland State Senate, where she served on various legislative committees, including the Senate Health Committee.  In 2011, Pugh ran an unsuccessful campaign to be mayor of Baltimore.  In September 2015, Pugh again ran for mayor of Baltimore, and won, becoming Mayor on December 6, 2016.  Pugh owned Healthy Holly, LLC, a company formed in Maryland on January 14, 2011, and used to publish and sell children’s books she had writtenPugh also owned Catherine E. Pugh and Company, Inc., a marketing and public relations consulting company organized in Maryland in 1997.  The principal address for both companies was Pugh’s residence in Baltimore.  Pugh was also the sole signatory on the Healthy Holly and Pugh Company bank accounts.  Pugh did not maintain a personal bank account, using her business bank accounts for personal and business finances.

Between June 2011 and August 2017, four Healthy Holly books were published, with each book listing “Catherine Pugh” as author.  The vast majority of books published by Healthy Holly were marketed and sold directly to non-profit organizations and foundations, many of whom did business or attempted to do business with the Maryland and Baltimore City governments.

From approximately 2011 until December 2016, Gary Brown, Jr. worked as a legislative aide to Pugh.

. . .Wire Fraud

Pugh admitted that from November 2011 until March 2019, she conspired with Gary Brown to defraud purchasers of Healthy Holly books in order to enrich themselves, promote Pugh’s political career, and fund her campaign for mayor.  Pugh and Brown admitted that they employed several methods to defraud, including: not delivering books after accepting payments for the books; accepting payments for books to be delivered to a third party on behalf of a purchaser, then converting some or all of the purchased books to their own use without the purchaser’s or third party’s knowledge; and by double-selling books without either purchaser’s knowledge or consent.  Pugh stored quantities of fraudulently obtained Healthy Holly books at various locations, including Pugh’s residence, her state legislative offices, her mayoral office, the War Memorial building in Baltimore City, and a public storage locker used by Pugh’s mayoral campaign.

Specifically, Pugh admitted that she sold approximately 20,000 each of Healthy Holly books one, two, and three to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) for $100,000 eachUMMS agreed to the purchase on the condition that it be on behalf of, and for distribution to, school children in the Baltimore City Public School system (BCPS), in part, to further the mission of UMMS’s community outreach program.  As part of the agreement Pugh was to deliver the donated books to BCPS.

As detailed in her plea agreement, Pugh did not deliver the full 20,000 Healthy Holly books one, two, and three that UMMS purchased to BCPS, instead keeping some of the books for herself.  In addition, Pugh sold to unwitting purchasers copies of Healthy Holly books one, two, and three that had already been sold to UMMS and donated to BCPSPugh used Associated Black Charities, a Baltimore-based public charity, to facilitate the resale and distribution of the books to new purchasers.  Neither the charity nor the new purchasers knew that Pugh was double-selling the books.  Pugh also accepted payment for books that were never delivered to the purchaser.

Conspiracy to Defraud the United States/Tax Evasion

Pugh further admitted that she used the proceeds of the sale of fraudulently obtained Healthy Holly books for her own purposes, including: to fund straw donations to Pugh’s mayoral election campaign; and to fund the purchase and renovation of a house in Baltimore City.

Specifically, Pugh issued Healthy Holly checks payable to Brown, for the purpose of funding straw donations to the Committee to Elect Catherine Pugh. …

! ! ! (From the Maryland District Courts link above, with the various pleadings, I started reading the “Stipulation of Facts” (quoted briefly above) and on page 2 see that, in approaching the BCPS (public schools) to get agreement to take her books, they first had to copyedit (Book One) for grammar and copyediting mistakes (!!) — this was a State Senator and mayoral contender in 2011!!)

You have the links and can check back through the years, when former Mayor Pugh was board of directors on CFUF…including up in 2017.

The websites (per tax returns) are BlackMaleAchievement.org for the Campaign (“CBMA”), CFUF.org for the Center, and “N/A” for the second “CFUF Fund” entity.  I guess viewers of the website aren’t meant to know about the second entity and viewers of CFUFFund’s tax return who somehow manage to locate it probably did so through the other tax return.

I’ve been aware of these organizations for years (one search shows, of CBMA before it incorporated, on a post I did January 2011), and of CFUF when its business name (last initial) stood for “Fathers” not “Families.”  Change of label hasn’t really become a change of focus, it becomes clear quickly.

CFUF is the earlier of the two by over a decade, but historically seems to get more government grants.

CBMA didn’t need them, with the powerful organizations which came together to start it, complete with a NY address (when incorporated) but a fiscal agent from California, at first. CFUF as you can see below has two tax-exempt related entities and some complex involvement of board members with other corporations dealing with CFUF)

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Written by Let's Get Honest

July 8, 2020 at 10:31 am

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