Sharpton’s Tax Problems Get More Scrutiny

I was a guest this morning on Fox & Friends to discuss Al Sharpton’s longstanding practice of not paying his taxes. Here’s the video:


The discussion was prompted by an article on National Review Online by Jillian Kay Melchior that reports that each and every for-profit Sharpton entity has been shut down by authorities in at least one jurisdiction for failing to pay taxes.

Melchior’s story confirms a pattern also seen with his nonprofit groups and his political campaigns: Sharpton does not pay his bills.

Sharpton has run what are akin to “bust out” schemes. Sharpton takes in money for a project or cause. He lives lavishly on the cash flow, and then creditors, including taxation authorities, are left holding the bag.

Sharpton’s for-profit, nonprofit and political enterprises have always been hopelessly intertwined and conflated, often in violation of the law, making transparency and accountability difficult. There seems to be no boundry between Sharpton’s personal and professional finances.

When Sharpton ran for president in 2004, we accused him of running an “off the books” campaign, the expenses for which were often borne by the National Action Network. His campaign was fined $285,000 by the Federal Election Commission and he had to return $100,000 in federal matching funds.

As I pointed out on TV, the National Action Network, the primary nonprofit vehicle for Sharpton’s activism, receives significant financial support from companies like Walmart. Corporate America would not partner with any other nonprofit that is so unaccountable and whose books is such a mess. Yet, an exception is made for Sharpton.

His tangled finances, and the larger context of the double standards that benefit Sharpton, are fully detailed in a new book titled Sharpton: A Demagogue’s Rise by Carl F. Horowitz of our staff. The publication date for the 330-page book is February 15.


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