Thursday, December 07, 2006

Use of the term "Tax Cheat"

Alan S. Chartock

Dear Mr. Weaver,
Concerning Mohawk Valley blog which today discusses e-mails between Times-Union columnist Mark McGuire and myself dealing with WAMC, Alan Chartock, and an Income Tax Evasion Scheme.

Please note the oath printed prominently above the signature panel on IRS Form 990 - "Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". It reads: "Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return, including accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete."

You state: "I would not go to the extreme that Heller does in calling Alan Chartock a tax cheat. The fact that he signs tax returns doesn‘t mean he reads them. That may not legally excuse him from responsibility for any errors in returns, but it doesn’t necessarily make him a cheat."

Sorry Mr. Weaver, but words mean something, most especially the words in a signed oath to IRS. The fact that Mr. Chartock is chief executive officer of a tax-exempt charity, and signs that charity's annual IRS return means that he better read that return -- every line of it! Otherwise, what is his purpose as the salaried $150K per year CEO of the organization?

Pardon me if I am less than sympathetic concerning any notion that this CEO, at the helm of this multi-million dollar tax-exempt org for more than twenty years (and who is acknowledged by friend and foe alike to be the ultimate micro-manager), would somehow not know the IRS rules governing how executive compensation at tax-exempts is to be accounted for, including how fringe benefits paid to org officials are to be calculated and reported to Uncle Sam.

At minimum, Mr. Chartock has got to suspect that somebody was paying for those new WAMC cars he's been driving these past twenty years, and that somebody was footing the bill for his chauffeur, for his use of furnished intown hideaways, and for his myriad other org perks so delightfully within easy reach these many oh-so-flush years at the helm.

Calling Alan Chartock a "tax cheat" isn't extreme, it is calling a spade, "a spade!"

G. M. Heller, editor
WAMC Northeast PIRATE Network

ALSO SEE: "TAX CHEAT! - How Alan Chartock conspired with WAMC to avoid paying IRS."

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Topic: Reply to Mark McGuire's T-U column re: WAMC, Chartock, Income Tax Evasion Scheme

Reply to Mark McGuire's 12/1/06 T-U column and blog:
"If it's on the Net, it must be true"
Also published as:
"Rumors on blogs are dilemmas in newsrooms"

NOTE: You can read the full thread of Mr. McGuire's Responses and WAMC Pirates' Replies in the Comments Section.

Mr. McGuire,
You wrote:
"There’s an Internet guy out there waging a very public crusade against a local radio host. Internet guy has charged the host with tax impropriety; the host and the station’s accountants deny it, and give clear reasons why the allegations are false.
"There’s been no story on this in the Times Union (and, as you noticed, no names here) — prompting the Internet guy to wail that the paper is hushing up the story.
"If a mere allegation — unsubstantiated even — is causing impact in the public debate, isn’t it a media outlet’s duty to report on its existence?"

Now Mark, maybe I assume too much, but it sounds to me like you are referring to my article published on the WAMC Pirates Web site, the one entitled "Tax Cheat: How Alan Chartock conspired with WAMC to avoid paying IRS."

You state that "the host and the station’s accountants deny it, and give clear reasons why the allegations are false."

Well, that's nice to hear --- finally.

Now, specifically just what were those "clear reasons" given by Mr. Chartock and accountant William Kahn to prove the allegations false? And to whom did they give them, and in what publication were those reasoned explanations written up?

As far as I can tell, neither individual has made any attempt publicly to offer clarity either in a public forum or to me personally as author of the original article. Plus, other than what I reported in the article in an interview Mr. Kahn gave me, neither Chartock nor Kahn has responded to specific questions nor to my requests for what you call "clear" explanations.

Please note that in the article, specific pages from WAMC's IRS Form 990's are excerpted for all to see. Readers can view for themselves the failure of WAMC to accurately account to IRS valuable corporate perquisites and taxable fringe benefits paid to WAMC's CEO.

So far not a single individual from WAMC nor from Kahn's accounting firm (nor anyone else for that matter) has come forward to refute a single one of the specific allegations made in the article.

If Messrs. Chartock or Kahn have given you "clear reasons why the allegations are false", you have an obligation now (since you raise the subject by writing about it in your column) to make that information public for the rest of us. That would be the least the Albany Times-Union could do since the newspaper hasn't bother to investigate this matter on its own.

As it stands now, WAMC's own IRS filings as a 501c3 tax-exempt charity, along with the corroborated testimony of numerous folks affiliated with WAMC concerning those extensive and valuable perqs given the boss, make a far more convincing case beyond reasonable doubt than just your blanket (and vague) assurance that 'clear reasons' have been given that the allegations are somehow false.

For more than two decades Mr. Chartock has received expensive fringe benefits from WAMC that consistently went unreported to IRS apparently in an effort by the public broadcaster to shield its CEO from having to pay income taxes on their value. I await the list of 'clear reasons' that were given to refute this allegation.

Very truly yours,
Glenn M. Heller, editor
WAMC Northeast Pirate Network
Web site:
Snail mail: P.O. Box 100, Monterey, MA 01245
Telephone: 202.973.2141