Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Buyer's Denials Don't Ring True

On Sunday, October 18, 2009, the Indianapolis Star published a front page story about Congressman Steve Buyer's Frontier Foundation (Rep. Buyer's scholarship fund hasn't helped a single student), a foundation that has taken in nearly $1 million but expended no scholarships - the purported mission of the Foundation. Mary Beth Schneider and Maureen Groppe get high marks for finally getting Rep. Buyer to admit that it was in fact his Foundation. Others, including me here this past week (Buyer supporting fake charity), have written about the Frontier Foundation.

In today's paper we have a Star editorial about the Foundation (Let's see good deeds, Mr. Buyer), a cartoon by Gary Varvel that is none too complementary, and a letter to the editor by Buyer himself (Foundation operates legally, aims to help students).

In all of his denials and all of his they-are-attacking-me retorts, is there any truth? One more piece of information puzzles me and leads me to ask, was Representative Buyer trying to hide the fact that no scholarships were granted EVEN ON HIS FOUNDATION TAX RETURN?

If you look online at Guidestar.org, you can get access to the Frontier Foundation, Inc., 2006, 2007, and 2008 Forms 990-PF; the tax return form for private foundations. In each year, the tax form has an attachment of an application form, dated for the appropriate year, for the purported scholarship. The attachment to the 2006 tax form is entitled 'The Frontier Foundation Scholarship Application 2006' and it shows a due date of March 1, 2005. Likewise the 2007 tax form has an identical attachment, except the title has 2007 and the due date is March 1, 2006. Same situation for the 2008 tax form - purported scholarship application with a title date of 2008 and a due date of March 1, 2007.

Below is the top half of page 1 of the two-page 2006 scholarship application, chosen for its clarity.

Looks to me like the folks at the Frontier Foundation wanted the IRS to think they had an active scholarship program.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More and more, foundations and non-profits major reason for being is to pay their employees (executive level) high salaries by pretending to do something. In other words, there modus operandi is "pretense," which is pretty much how most of government operates - they pretend to do something while protecting their gigs and passing out money to themselves and their friends.

So, is the federal government going to investigate, our will this theft be ignored also.