Report: Some NYC athlete charities aren’t that charitable

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One of the first things most professional athletes do is set up a charitable foundation. It’s part of the script, good for public relations and tax purposes.

And many athletes use those for the greater good, to give back to their hometowns or a cause near their hearts. But the New York Post reports that some athletes aren’t as charitable as they may seem.

The story mentions that Jets left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s foundation pays his mother more than $90,000 in salary and benefits, while donating just less than $40,000, according to tax documents. The foundation’s accountant said there were also donations of more than $25,000 to churches, and of bicycles to kids.

Jets outside linebacker Aaron Maybin also promotes a non-profit to help the poor, but his charity is registered as a for-profit company. The report also mentions Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora’s “Strike 4 A Cure,” as being “defunct for years.”

There’s an incredible amount of good work being done by so many athletes, but stories such as this one contribute to a greater cynicism, that many are just doing it for the P.R.

29 responses to “Report: Some NYC athlete charities aren’t that charitable

  1. “pays his mother more than $90,000 in salary and benefits”

    That is disgusting! What a horrible human being it must take to think that it’s okay to get paid that much from charitable contributions.

  2. Am I the only one who is bothered by the author calling out Ferguson and Maybin?

    I’m a Dallas fan, so this isn’t a Jets bias sort of thing. What bothers me is that the author is basically saying “these guys are using the non profit as a sham, they aren’t giving 100% of the funds to the charity”.

    Why doesn’t the author list how much THEY have donated to charity over the past year.

    Look, as long as they are following the rules tax wise, there isn’t any cause to get bent out of shape. Especially when they’ve given close to 40K (more if you count the 25K and bikes that are unverified as of yet).

    I have no idea if his mother is set up as the CEO of the foundation, but if she is, let me tell you that 90K is NOTHING for a CEO, even a non profit.

  3. Gee, I wonder if the NFLPA will investigate this one and turn the cheaters over the the IRS. No, I guess not, they’re too busy protecting members who seek to hurt fellow players.

  4. This is pretty awful. Paying your mother more than twice the amount you actually use to help people is shameful, and hopefully having some light shed on this prompts these guys into making changes.

    And these are just some NFL players in NYC, so who knows how systemic this problem is if you looked at all professional athletes. I don’t mean to belittle the intelligence of these guys, but I highly doubt they came up with these ideas by themselves, so shame on the agents and advisors who help them set these up.

  5. njsteelersfan, maybe so, but we are talking about public figures here. This seems like a pretty big story. Can you imagine the backlash to find out your favorite player is ripping people off through a charity front? I already understand most of these guys live a far different lifestyle any of us can really imagine, or approve of. But discreetly profiting off charity is something very low.

    Most of these guys were probably brought up on welfare, and never want to get off it, even after 8 and 9 figure salaries. Pathetic.

  6. Really People??
    If I had the financial means to pay my mother 1 million/year to whittle a stick I would.

  7. If you make ~$40K a year, the tax law is iron-clad.

    If you make $400K+ a year, the tax law is optional.

    Always been that way, always will be that way.

  8. This is a matter for the NY Atty Gen office as they are the entity that oversees charitable organizations.

    I’m sure they are now aware of the NY Post story. Hopefully someone is looking into this as I type.

  9. Ferguson really disgraced himself. Put him on the do not invite list right next to Tiki Barber for school reunions.

  10. The NY Post is a tabloid – reprinting their stories puts this site in the same class.

  11. This isn’t a scam and it isn’t fraudulent. what they do, even if somewhat suspect, is completely legal and used by anyone making big bucks. Accountants alway say, ‘the tax laws and codes are the colors and the tax return in the canvas used together to create the perfect return’

    until Congress gets down to updating and eliminating the hundreds of legal loopholes you can’t blame guys for using them to their advantage.

  12. Umm the CEO of Susan B. Komen makes upwards of 500k a year. I don’t see this as wrong. Better this than go to some club and “make it rain.”

  13. Even the biggest charities operate this way (red cross) they spend most of the donations on operating costs (salaries) and political agendas (giving out food and water to protesters in La). The majority of the cash NEVER makes it to the people in need. It’s down right criminal.

  14. ubb44 says:
    Jul 2, 2012 11:26 AM
    Really People??
    If I had the financial means to pay my mother 1 million/year to whittle a stick I would.

     —–

    There is a difference between him PAYING his mother, which is fine and STEALING donations that people gave to help someone who needs it which is disgusting.

  15. ubb44 says:
    Jul 2, 2012 11:26 AM

    Really People??
    If I had the financial means to pay my mother 1 million/year to whittle a stick I would.
    ====================================

    You’re missing the point. Giving your mother financial support so that she can be comfortable is a wonderful thing. Funneling that support through a “charity” for tax implications is a weasel move.

    Illegal? Probably not, if you have a good accountant. But still a weasel move.

  16. How is it not common knowledge that almost all charity is a scam? I could go into great deal on this, but none of you would ever even consider what I have to say as being true so I’ll leave you with the thoughts of a two time nobel prize winner on cancer research. Keep in mind there are many cures for cancer such as “Rick Simpsons hemp oil”

    ‎”Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud and that the major cancer research organisations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them.” – Linus Pauling PhD

  17. cleverbob wrote:

    ubb44 says:
    Jul 2, 2012 11:26 AM

    Really People??
    If I had the financial means to pay my mother 1 million/year to whittle a stick I would.
    ====================================

    You’re missing the point. Giving your mother financial support so that she can be comfortable is a wonderful thing. Funneling that support through a “charity” for tax implications is a weasel move.

    Illegal? Probably not, if you have a good accountant. But still a weasel move.
    ===========

    So you would have no problem if he paid someone else 90K to do it, but the fact that his mother is doing the same job someone else would, makes it “weaselly” ???

    I worked in non profits for 6 years (IT support). Almost all of them are based on Nepotism. One of the reasons is that there isn’t much money in non profits (outside of exec positions). At least with someone you know and trust, you can trust that they aren’t ripping you off and embezzeling.

    I have zero problems with what Ferguson is doing.

    It would be different if he was raising money, and then taking that money he raised to PAY his mom instead of giving it to charity, but form what I’ve read, he is paying his mother out of his own pocket, and then giving money up to charity.

  18. D’Brickashaw donated more than $1,000,000 to finance that charity. So, it is not like he is paying his mother with charitable contributions from strangers.

    That being said, I do see a problem with a charity that only gives out $40,000 paying its CEO $90,000. Susan G Komen, as ramofsteel posted, might pay a real lot of money to its CEO, but that charity also gives away a ton of money.

    Komen: $417,000 to CEO — Charitable expenses of more than $200,000,000.

    Based on ratings of charities, if a charity devotes less than 60% of its budget on actual charitable programs, that is bad.

  19. Grulks says:
    Jul 2, 2012 1:29 PM

    So you would have no problem if he paid someone else 90K to do it, but the fact that his mother is doing the same job someone else would, makes it “weaselly” ???

    I worked in non profits for 6 years (IT support). Almost all of them are based on Nepotism. One of the reasons is that there isn’t much money in non profits (outside of exec positions). At least with someone you know and trust, you can trust that they aren’t ripping you off and embezzeling.

    I have zero problems with what Ferguson is doing.

    It would be different if he was raising money, and then taking that money he raised to PAY his mom instead of giving it to charity, but form what I’ve read, he is paying his mother out of his own pocket, and then giving money up to charity.
    ==================================

    No, I would still have a problem with it because that person is getting $90k, an accountant is taking a cut, and the actual benefit is getting a paltry $40k.

    I’m not saying he has to live a life of austerity and give all his earnings away. However, being a professional athlete gives him both money and celebrity. If he established his own charity for altruistic reasons, you’d think he would contribute a little more out of his pocket or at least make an effort to compel others to contribute.

  20. Osi just doing it for the PR???!!!!!……..NAW!!!!……NO WAY!!!!……Not Osi!

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