Legal Filings

Legal Filings
Jul 09, 2013

CREW Executive Director Files IRS Whistleblower Complaint Against Campaign Finance Lawyer James Bopp

IRS form moneyWashington, D.C. — Today, Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), filed a whistleblower complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against James Bopp, Jr., the Bopp Law Firm, and the James Madison Center for Free Speech (JMCFS). 

The complaint alleges Mr. Bopp and JMCFS, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, misrepresented their activities to divert virtually all of JMCFS’s money into the Bopp Law Firm for Mr. Bopp’s personal enrichment.  Additionally, CREW asked the Indiana Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, the Indiana Secretary of State, and the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to investigate.

Fact sheet on CREW's Bopp and JMCFS complaints

Read the IRS whistleblower complaint and supporting exhibits

Read CREW's complaints to:

As the head of JMCFS, Mr. Bopp diverted nearly all of JMCFS’s funds to his own law firm in violation of prohibitions against using charitable organizations for private inurement and private benefit. 

As a result, JMCFS and the Bopp Law Firm now owe the IRS more than $6.2 million in back taxes.  Further, by repeatedly signing and submitting to the IRS inaccurate tax forms, Mr. Bopp may have made false statements in violation of federal criminal law.

Sloan stated, “Mr. Bopp is well-known for pushing the legal envelope, but you’d think he’d be more careful to comply with incontrovertible law.  No matter how just Mr. Bopp believed his cause, there is no excuse for end-running the tax code.”

CREW’s complaints to the the Indiana Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana allege the self-dealing in which Mr. Bopp engaged violated criminal law and Indiana and D.C. laws governing charitable organizations.  The complaints to the Indiana Secretary of State and the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs allege JMCFS failed to file reports and its articles of incorporation, as required by Indiana and D.C. law.

Sloan continued, “Mr. Bopp is a self-described expert on the laws governing non-profits so he can’t claim to have made innocent mistakes.  He knew what he was doing when he funneled all of JMCFS’s assets to his own firm and he had to know it was wrong.  Misusing a non-profit for personal gain is a serious offense and merits a thorough investigation.”

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