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> Jimbo's financial irregularities?, merged with "WMF finances"
dogbiscuit
post Mon 3rd March 2008, 10:04am
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Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
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In amongst the tittle-tattle, there have been some bits and pieces popping out about how Jimbo has been misusing WMF funds and failing to keep proper account of his spending. It is rather reminiscent of that felon employee and the "no money is missing, but if it is, I'll pay it back myself" approach.

It would be a shame to have the proper exposure of these serious, potentially criminal activities covered up by Jimbo's mid-life crisis. What do we have courtesy of Danny?
  • WMF funding private expenses of Jimbo without any apparent control of his expenditure in advance.
  • Jimbo reimbursing inappropriate expenditure via a donation rather than a direct payment.
  • The suggestion that the reimbursement value was negotiated, rather than properly backed up by receipts. If this is the case, was the WMF in reality properly reimbursed?
  • If there have been substantial amounts ($30,000) owning for several months, then surely a charity should be reimbursed for the interest lost due to offering unauthorised free loans. These are not trivial amounts of money, and Jimbo should be repaying several thousand dollars for this.
  • We are also aware that Wikia Inc activities have been performed while Jimbo is on tour financed by WMF. How has Wikia Inc. reimbursed the WMF for its proportion of the costs?
  • I'm not sure of his point, but Danny seems to suggest that some payments that Jimbo took (honorariums), rightly belonged to the WMF - the "gold washing machine".
I think if I was the auditor of the WMF, I'd be rather nervous of my professional standing. We are told, by Jimbo, that all these indiscretions are in the past, but as the auditing process did not make these issues public, did not qualify the accounts or bring these to the attention of the public, we simply wonder what other issues are lurking to be found out. Jimbo does not have any moral concerns about abusing the charity status of the WMF, as he does not generally seem to be troubled by morals.

I should think Jimbo will have a busy couple of days getting his expense claims squeaky clean. once he has finished dealing with his other dirty laundry.

I'm pretty sure that in the UK the charity commission would be breathing all over him by now. Time for Jimbo to step down from WMF.

This post has been edited by dogbiscuit: Mon 3rd March 2008, 10:12am
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whatever
post Mon 3rd March 2008, 10:34am
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Mon 3rd March 2008, 10:04am) *

In amongst the tittle-tattle, there have been some bits and pieces popping out about how Jimbo has been misusing WMF funds and failing to keep proper account of his spending. It is rather reminiscent of that felon employee and the "no money is missing, but if it is, I'll pay it back myself" approach.

It would be a shame to have the proper exposure of these serious, potentially criminal activities covered up by Jimbo's mid-life crisis. What do we have courtesy of Danny?[list]
[*] WMF funding private expenses of Jimbo without any apparent control of his expenditure in advance.


I don't think this one is "as big a deal". I have never had an expense account or had to file or deal with expenses, but my understanding is that people who have had them try and submit as much as possible to see what they can get away with. The onus here would be on the auditors to stop stuff going through, which it appears they did. That said, it is the first link in the chain.

QUOTE
[*] Jimbo reimbursing inappropriate expenditure via a donation rather than a direct payment.
[*] The suggestion that the reimbursement value was negotiated, rather than properly backed up by receipts. If this is the case, was the WMF in reality properly reimbursed?
[*] If there have been substantial amounts ($30,000) owning for several months, then surely a charity should be reimbursed for the interest lost due to offering unauthorised free loans. These are not trivial amounts of money, and Jimbo should be repaying several thousand dollars for this.


This one certainly seems quite muddy to me. Would the auditors be accountable if this donation/reimbursement was wrong since they have signed off on the accounts?
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Kato
post Mon 3rd March 2008, 11:29pm
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Kelly Martin is now asking the question: Who do you trust on the matter of Jimbo's financial antics?

On the one hand you have Sue Gardiner saying one thing, then Florence saying another.

http://nonbovine-ruminations.blogspot.com/...-you-trust.html

this is interesting:

QUOTE(Florence)
"It may have been a mistake Jimbo, but you originally actually asked the Foundation to pay for that dinner. I find tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past. Get a grip ! You asked the Foundation. Michael told you "no". Then you asked Wikia. And for whatever reason (I do not know), you ended up paying yourself."


Kelly also questions Jimbo's real financial status compared to the oft-stated facts

http://nonbovine-ruminations.blogspot.com/...immy-house.html

Who do you trust?

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Pumpkin Muffins
post Tue 4th March 2008, 2:40am
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FORUM Image

(image from the FOX article)

This post has been edited by Pumpkin Muffins: Tue 4th March 2008, 2:40am
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WhispersOfWisdom
post Tue 4th March 2008, 3:03am
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QUOTE(Kato @ Mon 3rd March 2008, 7:29pm) *

Kelly Martin is now asking the question: Who do you trust on the matter of Jimbo's financial irregularities?

Kelly also questions Jimbo's real financial status compared to the oft-stated facts

http://nonbovine-ruminations.blogspot.com/...immy-house.html



So much for public scrutiny...who would ever want it...really?

1.) As for the house and the sale and the taxes, there is an exemption in the U.S. up to and including a large amount for couples and individuals. No tax would be due.

2.) Good financial planning and trusts and land trusts will make finding assets and proof thereof, nearly impossible to find and / or establish (i.e., who has any money that Jimbo may or may not have made, or is making.)

***
Frankly, the amount of money he has or doesn't have is meaningless to me. What does matter is that if he is not truthful or cannot lead as a beacon of strong morals and act as a man of integrity, the WMF will surely fail to attract the necessary funds to survive.

The WMF does not have the funds to compete in the internet world...long term. The Foundation should consider a corporation merger soon. Wikia is not making it.

If Jimmy has a problem with honesty, he will fail as a leader, husband, partner, and as a person.
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thekohser
post Tue 4th March 2008, 3:37am
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Wow, looking into mortgages and loans. This really is the moment where the piranhas are closing in for the massive kill, isn't it?

Form 990 and/or Jimbo's personal tax returns investigation by the government and/or attorney general may be close at hand?
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Kato
post Tue 4th March 2008, 3:43am
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There's a spat on Danny's blog comments section about this. Sue Gardiner disputes Danny's impropriety claims. However, Kelly Martin steps in, rightly pointing out that Danny's claims refer to 2006, long before Sue Gardiner got involved in the WMF.

Ben Yates has the links on his blog.

http://wikip.blogspot.com/2008/03/wikimedi...rector-sue.html
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Unrepentant Vandal
post Tue 4th March 2008, 5:49am
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Jimbo's financial situation is simply not important. There's a lot of disappointing schaudenfreude on this website at the moment.
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Kato
post Tue 4th March 2008, 5:56am
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QUOTE(Unrepentant Vandal @ Tue 4th March 2008, 5:49am) *

Jimbo's financial situation is simply not important. There's a lot of disappointing schaudenfreude on this website at the moment.

I don't think you understand what's going on in regards to reimbursements to the WMF, the relationship between WMF and Wikia etc. It certainly is important.

Danny Wool responds to Sue Gardiner here.

http://allswool.blogspot.com/2008/03/question-for-sue.html

QUOTE(Danny Wool)
Are you willing to state unequivocally that Jimmy Wales never wrote a check to the WMF to reimburse the WMF for his personal expenses?
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Somey
post Tue 4th March 2008, 7:15am
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QUOTE(Unrepentant Vandal @ Mon 3rd March 2008, 11:49pm) *
There's a lot of disappointing schaudenfreude on this website at the moment.

I'd hardly call it schadenfreude... If anything, I suspect most of us are quite envious of Jimbo's ability to use his position on a mere website to score with hot right-wing media babes.

And have you ever asked yourself why there aren't more left-wing media babes? Like, maybe the same reason why so many media figures tagged as "liberal" are actually comedians? Think about it.

QUOTE(Kato @ Mon 3rd March 2008, 11:56pm) *
QUOTE(Danny Wool)
Are you willing to state unequivocally that Jimmy Wales never wrote a check to the WMF to reimburse the WMF for his personal expenses?

I'm not sure I'm following this - is he saying that it would have been wrong for Jimbo to reimburse the foundation for such expenditures, or that he had been compelled to do so (for whatever reason) and Sue Gardner has been effectively denying it? Presumably the latter, right?

Given that Jimbo has traditionally kept the fees received from his speaking engagements and other personal appearances for himself, while insisting that others (such as Angela) turn theirs over to the foundation, I'd have to say that he really should bear all the expenses incurred from travel to and from speaking engagements. Sex romps with former BLP victims are a different story, though... The foundation should definitely pay for those, I would think. Why else would you have a foundation in the first place, if not to pay for things like that?
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post Tue 4th March 2008, 7:43am
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QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 4th March 2008, 2:15am) *

I'm not sure I'm following this - is he saying that it would have been wrong for Jimbo to reimburse the foundation for such expenditures, or that he had been compelled to do so (for whatever reason) and Sue Gardner has been effectively denying it? Presumably the latter, right?


The foundation never should have paid any of his personal expenses to begin with. So if he is reimbursing the foundation, then something bad happened somewhere along the line. That's what Danny is getting at, I think.
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Somey
post Tue 4th March 2008, 7:43am
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Mon 3rd March 2008, 4:04am) *
I'm pretty sure that in the UK the charity commission would be breathing all over him by now.

I'm not sure there's an analogue to the UK Charity Commission in the United States - rather, the IRS, and to a lesser extent state-government tax agencies, handle almost all issues regarding use and misuse of charitable contributions, and whether or not an organization qualifies for charitable status. And generally speaking, their definition of what's acceptable seems to be a lot broader than the UK's definition. That inevitably leads to more scandals, but I guess the theory is that it's better to have scandals than to destroy people's faith in the system.

As for the auditor(s) themselves, I doubt they have anything to worry about - at least as long as they can plausibly claim that they weren't lying on the WMF's behalf, and I can't imagine the WMF managing to get a reputable auditor to do that for them. (That doesn't mean the WMF didn't try to mislead the auditors in some way, of course - and it's not like they could expected to conduct some sort of heroic super-sleuth investigation of their own client in order to bring them into disrepute... that's certainly not what they're hired for, obviously.)

So if anything is going to happen to the foundation's charitable status (which I personally have always considered rather bogus), it's going to require not only a lot of number-crunching with a limited set of figures (basically their public financial reports and tax returns only), but also a US-based person or group willing to go to the trouble and expense of registering a formal complaint with the IRS. I don't see the IRS initiating something like that on their own, unless the number of sex scandals reaches some completely unreasonable number, whatever that might be. Ten? Twenty?

What would be involved in registering such a complaint, anyway? I mean, if it's just a matter of filling out the appropriate forms... unsure.gif
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thekohser
post Tue 4th March 2008, 12:41pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 4th March 2008, 2:43am) *

I'm not sure there's an analogue to the UK Charity Commission in the United States - rather, the IRS, and to a lesser extent state-government tax agencies, handle almost all issues regarding use and misuse of charitable contributions, and whether or not an organization qualifies for charitable status. And generally speaking, their definition of what's acceptable seems to be a lot broader than the UK's definition. That inevitably leads to more scandals, but I guess the theory is that it's better to have scandals than to destroy people's faith in the system.

As for the auditor(s) themselves, I doubt they have anything to worry about - at least as long as they can plausibly claim that they weren't lying on the WMF's behalf, and I can't imagine the WMF managing to get a reputable auditor to do that for them. (That doesn't mean the WMF didn't try to mislead the auditors in some way, of course - and it's not like they could expected to conduct some sort of heroic super-sleuth investigation of their own client in order to bring them into disrepute... that's certainly not what they're hired for, obviously.)

So if anything is going to happen to the foundation's charitable status (which I personally have always considered rather bogus), it's going to require not only a lot of number-crunching with a limited set of figures (basically their public financial reports and tax returns only), but also a US-based person or group willing to go to the trouble and expense of registering a formal complaint with the IRS. I don't see the IRS initiating something like that on their own, unless the number of sex scandals reaches some completely unreasonable number, whatever that might be. Ten? Twenty?

What would be involved in registering such a complaint, anyway? I mean, if it's just a matter of filling out the appropriate forms... unsure.gif


Regarding misleading the auditors, see this post. Neither of the CPAs who prepared the 2004 and 2005 Form 990's for the IRS have responded to my inquiries why they didn't properly indicate that 60% of the Board of Directors were related to one another through a business relationship that, by law, should have been declared. I suspect that they are praying I just "go away".

As for registering a complaint, there are two avenues that I exercised back in 2007. Maybe they will be more receptive now (in light of this media-fueled scandal) if others were to try it themselves.

First, is the Federal route, Form 3949-A. My past focus had been on trying to get them to look into the WMF, but I believe the better avenue for success would be to have them look into Jimmy Wales' personal income, since he's had such a problem with submitting receipts properly, I can't imagine he's declaring income properly.

The second route is to contact the Florida Consumer Affairs office. In 2006, I worked with Frank Roycraft (850-410-3693 or roycraf@doacs.state.fl.us) to determine whether the WMF (as represented by Wales and Patrick) were unethically using their website to defame my small business. Roycraft wasn't that aggressive (he'd never even heard of Wikipedia before), but he did get fairly steamed that Brad Patrick did not issue a response to the State in the requested allocated time frame. Roycraft had mentioned that getting the Foundation de-listed in Florida is a difficult process, handled by the state's Attorney General's office. Now that WMF is in San Francisco, this may be impossible, anyway.

Some other organizations one might contact for advice: FANO and CAN.

I'm not going to pursue any of these, since I've already established my reputation as a gadfly. I think it would be more meaningful if several of you WR readers would file your own complaints -- namely, the IRS Form 3949-A is probably the best way to go, and you can even submit anonymously.

Greg
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Pumpkin Muffins
post Tue 4th March 2008, 3:29pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Tue 4th March 2008, 12:41pm) *


I'm not going to pursue any of these, since I've already established my reputation as a gadfly. I think it would be more meaningful if several of you WR readers would file your own complaints -- namely, the IRS Form 3949-A is probably the best way to go, and you can even submit anonymously.

Greg


3949-A link
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Pumpkin Muffins
post Tue 4th March 2008, 3:50pm
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Jimbo and the Jetset



This post has been edited by Pumpkin Muffins: Tue 4th March 2008, 4:08pm
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thekohser
post Tue 4th March 2008, 3:51pm
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QUOTE(Pumpkin Muffins @ Tue 4th March 2008, 10:29am) *

Which was linked in my post immediately above yours. This is twice in a couple of weeks this has happened. Are people not able to see or click through my thoughtfully-provided links?
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Pumpkin Muffins
post Tue 4th March 2008, 3:56pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Tue 4th March 2008, 3:51pm) *

QUOTE(Pumpkin Muffins @ Tue 4th March 2008, 10:29am) *

Which was linked in my post immediately above yours. This is twice in a couple of weeks this has happened. Are people not able to see or click through my thoughtfully-provided links?

bah, I should know better than to post before my first cup of tea in the morning. Sorry bout that.

This post has been edited by Pumpkin Muffins: Tue 4th March 2008, 3:56pm
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jorge
post Tue 4th March 2008, 4:17pm
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QUOTE(Pumpkin Muffins @ Tue 4th March 2008, 3:50pm) *

Isn't that JzG at the end?
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Anaheim Flash
post Tue 4th March 2008, 8:24pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Tue 4th March 2008, 4:41am) *
I'm not going to pursue any of these, since I've already established my reputation as a gadfly. I think it would be more meaningful if several of you WR readers would file your own complaints -- namely, the IRS Form 3949-A is probably the best way to go, and you can even submit anonymously. Greg


IRS Form 3949-A is a generic form primarily structured to provide complaints about individual tax payers. The IRS has a dedicated Exempt Organizations (EO) section which deals with all issues regarding EOs including any complaints about Exempt status. They have their own generic form:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f13909.pdf

The contact address is IRS EO Classification, Mail Code 4910DAL, 1100 Commerce Street Dallas, TX 75242-1198, faxed to 214-413-5415 or emailed to eoclass@irs.gov.

The IRS director responsible for EO is Lois G. Lerner, Director, Exempt Organizations
(202) 283-2300, (202) 283-8858

Advice & links http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=131651,00.html
and
http://www.unclefed.com/Tax-News/2002/nrfs02-10.html

Anyone wanting to use the new whistleblower protection and reward regs might want to read

http://www.whistleblowerlawyerblog.com/200...lower_in_1.html

AF

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Moulton
post Tue 4th March 2008, 9:25pm
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The Washington Post is carrying the story now, written by Brian Bergstein.
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