Legal Filings

Legal Filings
May 07, 2014

CREW Files Complaints Against Koch-Linked Groups and Sean Noble for Lying to IRS, FEC

Koch BrothersWashington, D.C. — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today filed complaints with the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR, now known as American Encore), a dark money group closely linked to Charles and David Koch, and its president, Sean Noble, for falsely asserting on tax returns he signed under penalty of perjury that CPPR did not engage in any political activity in 2010.  

During a recent interview with National Review Online (NRO), Mr. Noble described CPPR’s extensive political activities in 2010, directly contradicting his earlier statements to the IRS.

CREW also filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the FBI against the 60 Plus Association, American Future Fund (AFF), and Americans for Job Security (AJS) for failing to disclose that CPPR paid them to air political advertisements.

Read CREW's complaints to:

Read CREW's two page summary of the complaints.

“Charles and David Koch have been funding groups that deliberately flout the law.  As a well-compensated lackey, it seems unlikely Sean Noble acted on his own when he knowingly lied to the IRS about CPPR’s activities.  The real question here is what did the Kochs know and when did they know it?” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said.

Mr. Noble signed two tax returns under penalty of perjury claiming CPPR did not engage in any political activity in 2010.  Yet a March 2014 NRO article based on an interview with Mr. Noble explained how he and CPPR “set their sights on returning the House to the GOP,” produced dozens of political ads targeting Democratic congressmen, picked races in which the ads would run, and gave tens of millions of dollars to other groups to run the ads.  Lying to the IRS on tax returns is a federal crime.

The groups paid by CPPR to run the ads included 60 Plus, AFF, and AJS.  Federal law requires any outside group that makes an independent expenditure to disclose the donors who helped pay for such ads.  Such groups normally evade this law by claiming none of their contributions were earmarked for a specific purpose, but Mr. Noble’s statements to NRO show 60 Plus, AFF, and AJS were required to name CPPR as a contributor on their FEC reports.

“It is bad enough that the Supreme Court has been gutting our campaign finance laws.  What will it take for the agencies charged with enforcing the laws remaining on the books — including DOJ, the FBI, the IRS, and the FEC — to wake up and aggressively prosecute offenders?  A little enforcement would go a long way.  Few political consultants would willingly risk jail time on behalf of their billionaire employers,” Ms. Sloan added.

CREW also filed a separate IRS complaint against another Koch brothers-related group, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, as well as AJS, for lying on their tax returns.  Both groups deliberately mischaracterized hundreds of millions of dollars of income as “membership dues” rather than contributions because the identities of contributors — unlike the names of members — must be disclosed to the IRS.

Read CREW's complaint to the IRS against Freedom Partners.

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