The Rev. Al Sharpton may be in for a prolonged period of intense media scrutiny following a new report that claims all for-profit enterprises he has ever started have been shut down for failure to pay taxes.
Fox News Insider posted a brief blog Tuesday, calling attention to a recent interview on Fox’s “On the Record,” in which Greta Van Susteren spoke to Jillian Melchior about her new report on Sharpton’s tax situation.
Melchior’s story appeared on the National Review Online. In it, she claims a review of public records in New York and Delaware reveals that “every for-profit enterprise started by Al Sharpton and known to National Review Online has been shut down in at least one jurisdiction for failure to pay taxes.”
Melchior goes on to claim that many of Sharpton’s for-profit organizations “often overlap and intertwine … with the reverend’s nonprofit organization, National Action Network.” She called the organizations’ financial records “bizarre” and “confusing.”
“Al Sharpton has a bunch of for profit entities that have opened up one after the other. All of them shut down for failure to pay taxes, failure to file tax paperwork, some combination of tax problems,” Melchior told Van Susteren. “Just one right after another and then they will open back up, sometimes in the same location. I just really see a pattern here.”
Melchior went on to tell the Fox News host that her review of the records turned up “active tax warrants, tax liens well over a million dollars.”
Among the entities that Melchior claims were shut down because of failure to pay taxes include Sharpton’s Raw Talent, which the state of New York dissolved in 2002, according to her National Review report. Revals Communications which, records indicate, shared the same address as Raw Talent, was also dissolved by New York in 2009, 10 years after it was formed.
Melchior told Van Susteren that all of that is problematic, particularly in light of a New York Times story that claimed Sharpton personally owes millions of dollars in back taxes.
Sharpton has worked out payment plans or settlements with the Internal Revenue Service to take care of all of his tax debt, Melchior went on to say.
“I think the problem is we don't know the details as taxpayers. We don't know whether he got a discount deal,” she added.
Melchior said Sharpton and the IRS both declined to provide details of the settlements. She told Van Susteren that was “frustrating” while at the same time admitting that the complex tax records of Sharpton’s organizations show no proof of wrongdoing.
“This is a public figure, he is a respected guy,” Melchior said during her “On the Record” appearance. “Yet, when I look at his finances I know they are a mess. I don't know whether it's incompetence. I can't tell from the records whether its sloppiness or maybe it's something criminal. You just don't know.”
Photo Credit: Paul VanDerWerf/Flickr, On The Record Screenshot