Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Broken Borders: Broken Promises.
Another Minuten Civil Defense Corps. Scandal
By Investigator Abbie Boudreau
I advise you weeks ago that may sure that you know where your donations going to. Did you know where? Just look at this investigation and as well as the Scandal of Jim Gilchrist of Minuteman Project.
Did you believe on them? Again make sure the money you donated is going to a great cause or anyone who really need it.
ABC 15 Investigator Abbie Boudreau obtained the federal documents to expose where hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations are not going.
"Less than 5 % of the money is actually going back to the volunteers on the border. Is that correct?" reporter Boudreau asked Chris Simcox, the president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.
In a previous interview with ABC 15 News, Simcox told Boudreau most of the donations go back to the volunteers on the border.
"For gas, generators, food, anything else that they use for the border watch operations," Simcox said.
But the volunteers we talked to on the front line told us a much different story.
"We have to buy our own food, buy our own amenities, buy our own everything," one volunteer said.
Last April, the ABC 15 Investigators questioned Simcox about his group's finances, and accusations of mis-using funds.
"I think all of the folks who have not agreed with our philosophy or who have been concerned with where the money is going," Simcox said. "They are all gonna have egg on their face and they are gonna look pretty foolish."
Nearly one year later and we've obtained the 990 form, which is the organizations' first IRS tax form. The group filed as a 501c-4 charity.
"It's not clear from an accountants view here, as to what that money is being spent for," licensed CPA Bob Hockensmith said.
Hockensmith reviewed the 990 forms.
He said it showed the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps brought in $418,000 and spent nearly $450,000.
He said most of the money is going toward fundraising costs, and management fees, but less than 5% actually made it directly back to the volunteers.
"Field supplies, fuel, meals, and volunteer background checks, and that comes out to about $17,700, which is about 3.9% of the total $450,000," Hockensmith said.
He also questioned why a lump sum of $174,000 was spent on "Program and Management" expenses.
"Is that possibly a salary; is that possibly a management fee, a consulting fee?" Hockensmith said. "So it's very possible that money went out the door to another person or entity to services rendered, not specifically for equipment or supplies."
We caught up with Simcox and asked him to explain.
"Where is that money going?" Boudreau asked.
"The people that donate their money are quite satisfied," Simcox responded.
Original Minuteman Project founder, and former CPA, Jim Gilchrist talked to ABC 15 News about the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps 2005 tax form.
"I've forgiven him more than once, and I have no room for forgiveness anymore," Gilchrist said.
In this exclusive interview with ABC 15 News, Gilchrist also questioned where the money is going.
"After reviewing the 990 and seeing where the bulk of the money literally goes to fundraisers and only a few percent of every dollar, a few cents of every dollar goes to the fence project," he said.
He's talking about Simcox's plan to raise $55 million dollars to build that 70 mile border fence.
Gilchrist points out he would actually have to bring in $1.83 billion dollars in donations to reach that goal.
"Is this funny to you?" Boudreau asked Simcox.
"Yes, it is," he said. "It's a waste of my time, and it's a waste of your time."
Chris Simcox told us he believed our numbers are incorrect, but he refused to further explain why.