Records show that Sharpton’s beleaguered for-profit entities often overlap and intertwine, some sharing ties with the reverend’s nonprofit organization, National Action Network. Their financial records are copious, confusing, and sometimes outright bizarre, and together, they depict persistent financial woes for Sharpton, who also personally owes New York State nearly $596,000, according to active tax warrants.
So far, every for-profit enterprise started by Al Sharpton and known to National Review Online has been shut down in at least one jurisdiction for failure to pay taxes, a review of public records in New York and Delaware reveals.
“He clearly appears — based on the information that’s available to us — to have a history of noncompliance with tax obligations,” says Bernadette Schopfer, the director of taxation at New York’s Maier Markey & Justic, a certified public-accounting firm that has had no dealings with Sharpton or National Action Network. “It appears that [Sharpton] does not file [taxes for his businesses], and then opens up something else. At all the entities we see he has opened up, he has not been compliant with the obligations of the owner of a business. . . . He’s either willful in his behavior, or he’s just sloppy.”
Sharpton, who was traveling internationally, was unavailable for an interview, despite NRO’s numerous queries over several days.
Sharpton’s first for-profit company, Raw Talent, probably has the strangest set of tax-debt records. The company was incorporated as a for-profit entity in 1991, the same year Sharpton founded National Action Network.
Raw Talent racked up a lot of tax debt. According to a 2007 lien that appears to remain active, the company owed a total of $580,453 in federal taxes, and state records say it also owes $4,834 in New York taxes.
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