One of the Democratic Party’s most prominent and influential political operatives, David Brock, is currently being investigated for tax fraud, The Blaze reported. According to an IRS complaint, Brock allegedly transferred more than $2.7 million from his non-profit organization, American Bridge Foundation, to True Blue Media, a for-profit left-wing news organization he founded. True Blue Media is the parent company of the for-profit media website known as The American Independent (which was previously called ShareBlue).
The transfers were discovered in Form 990 filings with the IRS from 2017 and 2018 and the complaint was filed by the conservative watchdog group called Patriots Foundation.
Interestingly enough, in 2017, Brock laid out his plans for taking down President Donald Trump. And he mentioned his companies in the process:
From The Daily Beast:
The nonprofit at issue is the American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, and it’s part of a constellation of entities that Brock has seeded over the years and which he tasked in early 2017 to, in his words, “kick Donald Trump’s ass.” The foundation is the “dark money” affiliate of AB PAC, a super PAC that is pouring millions of dollars into an effort to defeat Trump in November.
Brock’s network also includes a for-profit news venture called the American Independent. That outlet is owned by a company he formed in late 2015 called True Blue Media LLC. When Brock convened donors at a retreat in early 2017 to brief them on his anti-Trump efforts going forward, he billed True Blue Media’s news operation explicitly as a revenue-generating enterprise that would sell advertising and subscriptions.
Over the next two years, American Bridge’s nonprofit arm invested more than $2.6 million in True Blue Media, according to tax filings. Those filings list Brock’s ownership stake in the LLC as greater than 35 percent. The structure appears to have resembled a convertible note; in exchange for that cash infusion, American Bridge was promised future equity in the media company. It’s not clear if that equity was ever provided.
Bradley Beychok, the president of ABF, denied the claims.
“To remove any potential conflict of interest, David Brock resigned as an officer and a member of the board of directors [of American Bridge] in 2016, before the first investment was made,” Beychok wrote in an email to The Daily Beast. “In the interest of transparency, the investments were listed on IRS form 990 as both a grant on Schedule I and on Schedule L. AB Foundation received an industry-standard investment agreement and in turn owns stock in True Blue Media.”
According to the Patriots Foundation, the American Bridge Foundation violated their tax-exempt status by making this money transfer.
“These complaints we filed provide damning indictment of serious allegations about how his organizations have circumvented rules and exploited the tax-exempt status of the organizations for personal benefit and partisan political purposes, and potentially siphoning millions for improper purposes,” Patriots Foundation co-founder Craig Robinson told The Daily Beast in a statement.
The Patriots Foundation is hoping the IRS will pull the ABF’s tax-exempt status, impose excise tax, additional penalties and taxes and even be referred to the Department of Justice for potential criminal charges.
In addition to having a stake in these companies, Brock is also the founder of Media Matters, a progressive organization that takes aim at conservative journalists.
Author: Beth Baumann