Sunday, November 2, 2008
The Detroit Free Press reports that a federal grand jury has subpoenaed the records of the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. The Fund is apparently one of at least six political and nonprofit funds that former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick used to fund various activities after he took office in 2002. Formed in 1999, the Fund has been the subject of several allegations that Kilpatrick used it solicit questionable donations and pay for personal travel. According to its GuideStar entry, the Fund is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(4) as a social welfare organization. As such, it is subject to the federal tax law prohibition on private inurement and any insider who receive improper economic benefits from the Fund could be subject to financial penalties. For 2006, the most recent year for which the Fund's Form 990 is available on GuideStar, the Fund had income and expenses of approximately half-a-million dollars and minimal net assets. The article also reports that the IRS has been investigating the Fund but does not provide information about the status of that investigation.