The Clintons have many problems these days, but the worst of them is probably the information that Charles Ortel started to release from hiswebsite and Twitter account (@charlesortel) in early May 2016. Ortel is the financial analyst who exposed General Electric’s stock as being overvalued before it took a dive in 2008. After 15 months’ examination of the public records of the Clinton Foundation entities, he finds that huge sums of money cannot be accounted for, and he believes that it is a family affair for Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton to harm the victims of disasters and the desperately poor throughout the planet. Educated and privileged people like the Clintons should know better, yet they preen, even now, believing we will fall for the hype manufactured by their handlers.
The true, damning facts, however, are out there for each of us to see.
There is a special revulsion against charity fraud that we did not cover in an earlier interview. We discuss this with Charles Ortel.
Dady Chery: For you, this is a moral issue.
Charles Ortel: It is reprehensible to operate a supposed charity in gross violation of applicable laws and simultaneously seek adulation and the highest political office in the most powerful nation on earth. Such conduct needs to be fully exposed and then punished to set an example.
Charity, the notion of actually helping less fortunate and deserving souls, is an ancient practice prevalent in most cultures. In the United States, it happens that the poorest among us are also the most generous, if you measure their annual donations relative to their annual incomes. Much great work is done by the charitable sector and this important, generally selfless conduct, should be encouraged and admired.
That said, to corrupt a presidential charity under the glare of the publicity that surrounds celebrity followers of the Clinton Foundation is gross, indefensible conduct by educated persons who seem to have no moral compass and no shame.
DC: In your discussions of the Clinton Foundation on your website and elsewhere, Charles, you often bring up the absence of tax audits by the Clinton entities. What is the problem there?
CO: By audits, I mean detailed income statements, balance sheets, cash-flow statements, and footnotes that are double-checked, that is “audited,” by competent, informed and licensed accounting firms. Accounting firms understand the numerous detailed requirements that must be followed as these audits are completed. Furthermore, the management and trustees of large entities, like those of the Clintons, are required to certify that the information contained in these audits is true, accurate, and complete. This is different from the process by which the IRS might decide to audit a given tax return. All financial information provided to the IRS by charities whose revenues are above a low threshold must procure financial statements and supporting information that are audited and must make this work available to taxing authorities and to the general public.
The Clinton entities have repeatedly failed to get their financial statements properly audited. This is an ongoing abuse. I believe they got away with this probably because Lois Lerner was a key person in the IRS who oversaw tax-exempt charities, including the Clinton entities, from 2001 through 2013. She left her post in disgrace. She is alleged to have used the IRS to target conservative and Tea Party groups, and she might also have used her influence with regulators not to target charities of politically allies.
DC: A lot of funds were collected by Clinton entities for recovery from natural disasters.
CO: Shortly after leaving the White House in January 2001, Bill Clinton teamed with Rajat Gupta, then managing partner of consulting giant McKinsey, and since convicted of criminal misconduct, to, in theory, aid victims of an earthquake that struck on January 26, 2001 in Gujarat, India. Records available in the public domain for this charity, American India Foundation, show clearly that it was organized on the basis of a false and materially misleading application to the IRS, that it failed to provide compliant financial audits, and that it failed to make complete, truthful and regular filings in numerous US states where it continues to solicit donations using the mails, telephones, and digital media, in stark violation of applicable laws. Bill Clinton has served as Honorary Chairman for this entity since inception, a fact that is used prominently in fundraising campaigns. Nevertheless, his role with this illegally operated charity is not disclosed in Clinton Foundation filings with state, federal and foreign authorities.
Starting in January 2001, Bill Clinton became involved in international activities that he pursued invoking the name of the Clinton Foundation; these included disaster relief in India and fighting HIV/AIDS in many nations, including in Haiti starting in 2003. None of these international activities were validly authorized in advance by the IRS, US state governments, or foreign governments, as is legally required. Especially in the early period, Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation did not have adequate and sufficiently trained staff to exercise tight and effective controls over these international activities. As a result, it appears that substandard and evenadulterated drugs manufactured by an Indian supplier then called Ranbaxy may have been distributed in numerous countries under the auspices of the Clinton Foundation.
Later, Bill Clinton became involved with George H. W. Bush, starting in 2005, in fundraising efforts to, in theory, aid victims of the Tsunami that devastated many Asian nations in the December 2004. Fundraising efforts in this case were also not documented properly or organized in full compliance with applicable state, federal, and foreign laws.
Beginning in August 2005, former presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush mounted additional illegal and improperly organized efforts to, in theory, aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Defective forms and filings related to this effort are available, following persistent digging, but omitted from the Clinton Foundation website, though some of the purported financial effects and other supposed accomplishments are covered in various materials found there, including press releases, annual reports and tax filings, that are riddled with accounting errors for 2005, in particular.
DC: What do you perceive as being the most serious problem with fund collection for disaster relief?
CO: When natural disasters strike, many of us are motivated to help however we may be able to do so. As we became more connected on the internet and more comfortable sending money using internet services, larger and larger sums started flowing towards those who represented they might be capable to aid victims of natural disasters. Unfortunately, this incoming money flow, in tiny bites is a perfect opportunity for fraud. Fraudsters realize that portions of this money might be picked off operating unregistered charities with names and websites that seem legitimate. This is why the FBI warns donors to be wary when it comes to making contributions after natural disasters.
DC: I often say: “What happens in Haiti doesn’t stay in Haiti.” Given the real prospect of another Clinton presidency, should Americans worry?
CO: It is more than ironic that the United Homeless Organization, which used to have seemingly poor people at tables all over New York with glass jars to collect money, was revealed as a fraud back in November 2009.
As it happens, the Clinton family was homeless and in severe financial distress back in 1998. Since then, public reports suggest they have acquired vast wealth during a period when most in America have struggled. It seems more than fair to ask exactly how one squares reaping massive financial gains with efforts supposedly led by the Clintons to engage in “charitable” work, particularly given rampant and material defects in all public filings of Clinton-related charities from inception to date.
When the Clintons last occupied the White House they were destitute, according to published reports, and America was in a far stronger position strategically and economically, compared to other nations, than now.
Absent controls, and a US president is difficult to stop, an enriched Hillary Clinton and her extended family are likely to run roughshod over political enemies and competitors in ways that are terrifying to contemplate.
DC: Could some good come from this?
CO: It is certainly possible that Hillary Clinton may win the presidency before the whole truth becomes known regarding operation of and fundraising for the Clinton Foundation and all its related entities.
Alternatively, if the general public digs into the facts and goes to the public record, justice may be administered to all those centrally involved in perpetrating what seems to be the largest and most far-reaching charity fraud ever attempted anywhere on earth.
The downfall of Hillary Clinton and of her family for having, in my view, illegally used a charity to derive personal financial gains might then become an example not to follow: a cautionary tale useful, in future, to constrain others from even daring to consider such pursuits.
DC: Thank you Charles.
Dady Chery is the author of We Have Dared to Be Free. Photographs two and four by Alex Proimos; three from The Oglethorpe University archive; five by Zoriah; six from the archive of Cristal Montanez; seven from the archive of ILO in Asia and the Pacific; eight from Nazareth College archive; and nine by Gilbert Mercier.