The power of the Internal Revenue Service could be brought to bear against the Black Police Association of Dallas, after a 40-year-old member of the organization made allegations of financial wrongdoing by the organization before he became president.
The man previously served in the Dallas Police Department and was elected president of the Black Police Association of Dallas in June of last year. The group began in the 1950s with ties to a legacy of activism. It currently represents 557 black police officers in the DPD.
According to the man, he was told there are no annual audited files from 2005 to 2010 to prove how the association’s income of between $15,000 and $18,000 was spent. In order to find out himself, the man said he checked the BPA’s computers, but ran into a road block because the computers held no files containing records such as board resolutions or budget plans.
The man said he had wanted to hold a forensic audit, but did not believe it would take place. He resigned from his position in October of this year.
He asked a special audit committee that he assembled to regain the missing records up to the date he became president. What he found surprised him, including the lack of receipts or documentation to purchased items worth thousands of dollars and a number of debit cards handed out to members, which show payments for airline and hotel fees, PayPal accounts, restaurants and retail store items.
The IRS has declined to comment, as is their policy in such matters. However, he said he believes the IRS will find out about the problem, because nonprofits are not allowed to use money to profit themselves.
And whether or not the IRS does investigate, the allegations are serious, and could carry serious consequences. If most of the allegations are the result of honest mistakes, consulting with a tax attorney to clear up any misunderstandings could be the best course of action.
Source: Dallas Observer, “The Black Police Association’s Disappearing Money“, Dec. 15, 2011