By: Charles Ortel
The Latest Available Clinton Foundation Filings Appear Deceptive
My interest in the Clinton Foundation financial disclosures was originally sparked by an article written in the New York Times entitled “Unease at Clinton Foundation over Finances and Ambitions.”
Considering this article with the benefit of hindsight after having poured through reams of public filings and comments made by the Clinton Foundation as well as related parties, one wonders how seriously management, directors, and other employees take their manifold legal duties, particularly when it comes to making truthful and complete disclosures.
Since August 2013, few investigative reporters have dug deeply enough below the surface of Clinton Foundation filings, seeking and finding answers to questions concerning the stated financial performance of significant constituent entities as well as the consolidated whole.
I have completed a summary review of these filings, and have attached a report which answers a few key questions. Specifically:
- What do Clinton Foundation disclosures tell informed readers about the stewardship of billions of dollars in “charitable contributions” sent to Little Rock, to New York City, to Boston, to London, and to Stockholm from numerous donors with modest means, from wealthy and powerful donors, and from a host of governments and government-connected benefactors?
- Did management exercise vigilance to ensure that the Clinton Foundation actually carried out its original and its amended tax-exempt purposes?
- Did directors take reasonable care, as fiduciaries, under applicable state, federal, and foreign laws to operate this charity serving, at all times, a public interest?
- Are all business arrangements with material “related” parties fully and adequately disclosed in annual, publicly available filings that comparable charities regularly complete on time?
Or, do the Clintons, and others who operate the Clinton Foundation, function as Robin Hood in reverse? Do they dupe small, modest income donors to enrich themselves and cronies?
Headline Conclusions of the First Foundation Report
The truth is that it is difficult to perform penetrating analysis of publicly available financial information pertaining to the Clinton Foundation because, so far, it is not technically complete in numerous material respects.
The numbers that the Clinton Foundation supplies to the public in its legally mandated filings do not add up, are frequently incorrect, and appear to be materially misleading. In numerous cases, the Clinton Foundation appears to have followed inconsistent policies adding in appropriate portions of the various activities it pursued around the world to create “consolidated” financial statements.
As the attached report notes, In several instances portions were added only for some of the years in which the entities remained in operation, artificially enhancing purported financial results. In other cases, important elements of activity were improperly characterized and combined.
Meanwhile the Foundation solicits donations even though its informational filings are not in compliance with applicable law. Regulators at Federal, State, Local, and international levels are not doing what they should do to protect the public.
And how long must we wait before regulators at home and abroad remedy rampant and persistent deficiencies in the Clinton Foundation’s operating and disclosure practices.
The attached print report details ten specific concerns about the most recent Clinton Foundation filings. I invite your considered reaction. (Charles Ortel, ‘False Philanthropy’ Report, 4/20/2015)