Following the Money

Last night, I finally got around to looking over the 2011 IRS Form 990 for Velvet Revolution US. For those of you who haven’t been following the Saga of The Dread Pirate Kimberlin for long, VRUS is the 501(c)4 not-for-profit that Brett Kimberlin runs. There are some interesting changes in the filings between 2010 and 2011 which we’ll explore from time to time. Today, let’s look briefly at the reported expenses.

Here’s an extract from the first page of the form. You can click on the image to embiggen it for easier reading.

2011_VRUS_990_ExpenseNote that line 13 is where payments to independent contractors are reported. Hold that thought. Now, take a look at this extract from Schedule O (where the “Other expenses” are described).2011_VRUS_990_SchedO

We find additional payments to independent contractors. That’s an interesting irregularity on a report filed by a CPA.

Also, over $35,000 was spent on “Public Relations.” I can’t find any record of VRUS spending so much as a dime on PR before 2011, but VRUS says it spent over 40% of its budget on PR during that year. Why was that sort of expense required?

2011 was the year that the Kimberlin v. Allen lawsuit was in courts. TDPK sued for over $2 million claiming that Seth Allen’s blogging was affecting his ability to raise money for his “charities.” (TDPK won a $100 nominal judgment in the end.) Was this PR campaign an effort to overcome the effects of Allen’s truthful blogging? (Allen lost the suit on a technicality not the merits.) Will we see more spending on PR on the 2012 Form 990?


Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “Following the Money

  1. It would be interesting to see a list of those “independent contractors” and exactly what they did for the charity.

    • One would have to have access to the VRUS books to answer those questions. When those books were sought during discovery in a civil suit last year, TDPK pled the Fifth.

      Draw your own conclusions.

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