The Rev. Al Sharpton has bought the rights to his life story to an keen purchaser — his personal charity.
The Nationwide Motion Community agreed to pay the activist preacher $531,000 for his “life story rights for a 10-year interval,” in response to the non-profit’s newest tax submitting, which was obtained by The Submit.
NAN can apparently flip round and promote these rights to Hollywood or different takers at a revenue, however neither the reverend nor the charity would establish what producers are ready for such Sharpton content material.
The doc doesn’t point out when Sharpton, who’s president of NAN, will get the money, which is above and past the $244,661 he already pulled down in compensation from the group in 2017.
Sharpton additionally wouldn’t say when the money would are available.
“What does that must do with something?” he stated, talking to The Submit Saturday from South Africa, the place he’s internet hosting an MSNBC broadcast on the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s delivery.
Sharpton claimed the thought for the deal got here from two NAN board members, whom he wouldn’t title. He stated they wished to create a income for the civil rights group after he steps down in a few yr.
“This fashion they make a revenue from the start and all the income,” he stated.
He stated he had contracts for 3 motion pictures, one already in manufacturing, however wouldn’t present particulars.
The group says a non-public donor put up the cash to make the acquisition, however NAN and Sharpton refused to call the donor.
He stated a play was being shopped round and there have been different property that may generate income for NAN, together with a recording the place James Brown is singing and he’s speaking, and video footage of him with Michael Jackson.
“You’ve bought actual property right here. You’re not speaking about simply me as an activist. These are non-related NAN issues which are the saleable gadgets,” he stated.
Sharpton stated that the property had been appraised and the film offers alone may usher in not less than triple to NAN over what it was paying him for the rights.
The group says a non-public donor put up the cash to make the acquisition. However NAN and Sharpton refused to call the donor.
Nonprofit specialists stated the transaction might be troubling as a result of NAN — whose mission contains legal justice reform and police accountability – was doing enterprise with its president.
If NAN paid an excessive amount of it may run afoul of IRS guidelines relating to extra advantages given to a nonprofit’s key officers, which could put its tax-exempt standing in jeopardy, Marcus Owens, a former IRS official and a companion with the Loeb & Loeb regulation agency in Washington, DC.
“After I see this sort of factor it simply makes me roll my eyes as a result of there’s a lot potential for humorous enterprise,” stated Linda Sugin, a Fordham College Legislation Faculty professor and affiliate dean.
The group’s tax submitting famous that the board’s unnamed “govt committee independently permitted” the deal.
However Sugin questioned such how such independence was achieved.
“On this case it’s actually tough due to his function within the group and simply due to his total affect,” she stated.
Daniel Borochoff, the pinnacle of Charity Watch, stated the transaction would have been “quite a bit cleaner” if Sharpton bought the rights himself to a manufacturing firm after which donated any revenue in extra of $531,000 to NAN.
The Harlem-based Nationwide Motion Community, which Sharpton based in 1991, holds weekly “motion rallies” at its Home of Justice headquarters and an annual conference that has drawn President Obama as a speaker.
The occasion has been sponsored previously by giant firms together with Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and Ford.
The nonprofit took in $6.three million in income final yr, up from $5.eight million the yr earlier than, in response to its tax filings. Its years of excellent taxes had been paid off in 2014.
Sharpton, who hosts the “PoliticsNations” present on MSNBC, managed to repay a bit of his tax debt to the state and feds within the final yr.
He paid $172,112 to the state, however nonetheless owes $736,375 in private revenue tax and taxes for 3 of his firms to Albany.
Metropolis data present a $1.three million tax lien to the IRS was happy in February, however data present he nonetheless has $2.5 million in excellent federal liens towards him and one in all his firms.
NAN has maintained that Sharpton is paying taxes on an installment plan. The liens don’t replicate partial funds.