The “Reverend” Al Sharpton has made a hell of a lot of money over the last 30 years or so for somebody that really doesn’t have a job.
Sharpton, who came to widespread fame after the infamous Tawana Brawley rape hoax, has graduated from a cheap red jogging suit, to expensive dress suits (which he hilariously claimed in a deposition he did not own) and has gone from militant AM talk radio in New York City to militant mediocrity for MSNBC with his own television show.
I have followed Sharpton’s “career” over the last 30 years or so and it’s quite remarkable just how unproductive he is as a member of society. Before Sharpton was playing the role of rabble-rouser, he was a snitch for the FBI after being flipped for talking about cocaine deals with undercover FBI agents.
After Tawana Brawley, there was the time Sharpton incited violence that led to the death of eight people at Freddie’s Fashion Mart in Harlem. Sharpton was one of the loudest critics of Fred Harari, the Jewish owner of Freddie’s. Sharpton and a bunch of other anti-Semites claimed Harari was evicting the owner of a store called the Record Shack, which was owned by an African-American named, Sikhulu Shange. There was only one problem. Harari was merely a tenant in the building, not the owner. The United House of Prayer, a largely black Pentacostal church owned the building and was evicting Shange because he was not paying his rent. But thanks to Sharpton and others, Roland James Smith Jr. walked into Freddie’s with a gun, ordered all the black people out of the store and proceeded to set the store on fire. He was killed along with seven others.
One can be sure, that when there is something that happens where racial strife will be the order of the day, Al Sharpton and his big mouth will be there.
As for money, while Sharpton is sure to talk about the poor and downtrodden, he has lived the high life for some time and as a result, has brought scrutiny down on his finances. Do a rudimentary Google search and you’ll find stories about Al and his money going back over 10 years. Questions have been raised about how he earns his money, what he pays in taxes and what he declares as income. In addition, Sharpton’s own National Action Network has been on the receiving end of fines as well as state and federal tax liens.
The NY Times has a piece today, detailing some of this:
Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills. Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses.
And though he said in recent interviews that he was paying both down, his balance with the state, at least, has actually grown in recent years. His National Action Network appears to have been sustained for years by not paying federal payroll taxes on its employees.
With the tax liability outstanding, Mr. Sharpton traveled first class and collected a sizable salary, the kind of practice by nonprofit groups that the United States Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration recently characterized as “abusive,” or “potentially criminal” if the failure to turn over or collect taxes is willful.
If this were a new story, eyebrows might get raised but one might think they were making good on paying off these liens. But here’s a story from 2011:
Most of NAN’s money woes stemmed from more than $880,000 in unpaid federal payroll taxes, interest and penalties. It also paid more than $100,000 to settle two lawsuits, byproducts of the unpaid bills
And it still owed $206,252 in loans to Sharpton’s for-profit Bo-Spanky Consulting Inc. and Sharpton Media LLC, the records show.
Sharpton drew a $241,732 salary and perks that included first-class or charter air travel, tax filings show. He owes the IRS $2.6 million in income tax, and nearly $900,000 in state tax.
The defunct Rev-Al Communications Inc. owes the state almost $176,000, and Bo-Spanky is $3,500 behind on state-tax liens.
Sharpton has said he is on a repayment plan with state and federal-tax authorities.
NAN last year took in more than $3 million in donations, which allowed it to chip away at its tax burden. This year, its board of directors voted to resolve the tax issues and paid all back state taxes, said Executive Director Tamika Mallory.
All of this raises one important question:
Why is Al Sharpton not under a criminal investigation by the IRS?
Sharpton’s finances and tax issues have been known for years and yet he still hasn’t paid off this money despite earning millions of dollars a year with his MSNBC show, speaking fees and whatever other scams he has going. Other people have been investigated, tried and convicted for a lot less and if this was the average Joe, the indictments would have already been handed down.
Yet Sharpton is still treated with the utmost respect by the media and liberal politicians including President Obama who has used Sharpton as an unofficial advisor from time to time. It’s absurd.
But the respect he receives from the press is probably why these stories have never really gained any traction despite the fact that Sharpton and his various business and non-profit entities have owed millions in unpaid taxes for years. Without a criminal investigation, Sharpton has been able to tell his own side which is no doubt, loaded up with lies and double speak.
Until somebody does some digging, the public will not know how far this goes.