May 9 2011
President Obama’s half-brother runs an off-the-books American charity that claims to support poor Kenyans — but it lies about its federal status and no one knows how it spends its money.
NY POST – The group, the Barack H. Obama Foundation, was named after the president’s father and founded by his sibling Abon’go Malik “Roy” Obama, a 53-year-old polygamist who recently made headlines by adding a third wife — who’s still in her teens.
Its Web site claims to have provided drinking water in Kenya’s Siaya District, which includes the Obama clan’s ancestral village. The organization also says it has completed a madrassa, or Muslim school, and is building an imam’s residence. That and other photos on the site are the only purported evidence that the nonprofit has accomplished any of its mission.
A group of Missouri State college students who visited the Obama family village of Kogelo in 2009, and who met the president’s half-brother, felt something was amiss. They sensed he was an “operator” and decided to give their donation of 400 pounds of medical supplies directly to a local clinic.
“We didn’t know what he was going to do with them,” said Ken Rutherford, a former Missouri State professor who led the trip and who shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for his work to ban landmines.
Rutherford said the Obamas’ relatives are the only Muslims in a village of 4,000 Christians and that Malik has a private mosque on his property.
Malik started his charity the year his brother ran for president. The foundation claims to be a tax-exempt, federally recognized nonprofit. It is not. Nor are there any filings of its expenditures, which the IRS requires of larger charities. The charity is not even registered in Virginia, a requirement for soliciting donations in that state.
The foundation’s Web site includes a donation form that says it has nonprofit status. Charity expert Marcus Owens said knowingly telling donors contributions are tax-deductible if they are not could amount to fraud. “If they haven’t applied for exemption, they can’t promise their donors that contributions are deductible,” said Owens, a lawyer and former IRS official.
The National Legal and Policy Center, a Washington, DC, watchdog group, made a formal complaint to the IRS and US Post Office last week alleging fraud.
The foundation seems to be capitalizing on the Obama name. A California-based company is selling T-shirts with the president’s image and the phrase “Yes We Cannabis.” It promises half of the proceeds will go to the Barack H. Obama Foundation.