Uh oh... it looks like (more) trouble ahead for Beth and Ricky Mason.
Last week Da Horsey and Da Kurta dug up the couple's 2010 and 2011 IRS tax filings for their 'charity' the Mason Civic League, Inc. and guess what?
Those IRS returns have more holes than a porcupine's underpants.
What slipped through the Masons' tattered shorts was any actual reporting of their charity's income and expenses: how much money came in, where the money came from (program service revenue, investment income, contributions, grants, other revenue), how they spent it, the charity's total assets and total liabilities, the structure and staff of the organization: number of individuals employed, salaries, compensation, employees benefits...
All the details that would differentiate an actual government-subsidized charity from an employment agency for political operatives and shell for the movement of unlimited amounts of cash to subvert ELEC law and financial transparency.
And the Masons 'got away' with these reporting holes (so far) because they filed IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard) instead of IRS Form 990 or Form 990-EZ.
Mind you, the e-Postcard can only be used by charities with annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less as it requires only the most basic pieces of information (Tax ID., legal name, reporting period, name and address of it's principal).
Unlike the 12-page gutting and grilling the Mason Civic League, Inc. would have received from the longer IRS Form 990.
Yep, those two are LUCKY; they got a pulse check versus a colonoscopy without anesthesia. But was it luck or... something else?
How can the Masons explain it?
We now know (per trial testimony) that the charity employs political operatives Matt Calicchio and Tania Garcia, and it has a curator, runs weekly 1/2-page ads in the Hoboken Reporter ($852/ ad), rents a storefront on Washington Street ($36K- $70K annual)- it may employ the other satellites that orbit Beth Mason wherever she goes: Tim the videographer, Not-Perry, Ryan Yacco, James 'Finboy' Barracato...
So how could the Mason Civic league, Inc. possibly have annual gross receipts of $50K or less?
GA says they can't. But what do I know?
That's why the IRS needs to take a closer look at the Mason Civic League, Inc..
Let them decide.
A complete IRS audit should determine whether the Masons' 501(3)(c) is a shell to funnel cash to political operatives, to buy favorable press (and hit jobs on critics) from our local paper via blocks of ad-buys, to hide the movement of money around on behalf of the political aspirations-and whimsy, of politician Beth Mason.
Let the IRS discover the reason the Masons use an alias, The Mason Family Civic League instead of their charity's legal name, The Mason Civic League, Inc.
As one money laundering investigator told GA, aliases are used as a screen to confuse, distract, obfuscate, provide cover, keep a distance from what one doesn't want seen. One-Eye called it a Three Card Monty. And the alias is everywhere: in print ads, on the Gallery1200 web site, on printed materials- Ricky Mason even used it in his Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz bio!
I kid you not. Right here:
Wow. What balls on that guy. He's a frigging equity partner in his white shoe law firm.
Mason knows exactly what he's doing. He knows the legal entity he calls Mason Family Civic League doesn't exist. It's not registered with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Nor the IRS.
Have you ever heard a lawyer make this kind of 'mistake'?
Now that Horsey has ordered the Matt Calicchio harassment trial court transcript (after raising the $850 cost in just 2 days) the stakes have been raised for the Masons. The transcript contains the testimony of Defendant Calicchio and his witness, Tania Garcia to being employed by Beth Mason's Civic League! That's right, it's in the transcript.
Which should raise all kinds of RED FLAGS about the 'charity'.
- WHY does this 'charity' employ political operatives?
Indeed, Calicchio testified that he is an employee of Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason’s “civic league.”
Garcia also testified that both she and Calicchio worked for the Mason Family Civic League, including the affiliated Gallery 1200, an art gallery owned by Mason on Washington Street.
- WHY did the Mason's file an e-Postcard instead of a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ?
WHO must file an e-Postcard?
This notice, which must be electronically filed, asks for only a few basic pieces of information: the organization’s taxpayer identification number, its tax period, legal name and mailing address, any other names used, an Internet address if one exists, the name and address of a principal officer and a statement confirming that the organization's annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less ($25,000 or less for tax year 2009).
WHO must file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ?
For 2010 and later tax years•Organizations with annual gross receipts less than $200,000, and total assets less than $500,000 can file either Form 990-EZ or Form 990.•Organizations with gross receipts of $200,000 or more or total assets of $500,000 or more must file Form 990.
- WHY do the Masons continue to use an alias for their Charity instead of its legal, registered name?
- WHY hasn't the Mason 'charity' filed (3) years of NJ state-mandated expense reports to the NJ Attorney General's Office?
Here's what GA sleuth One-Eye said about that:
Well said, Cyclops.If Beth and Ricky Mason had filed annually, they would have been forced to disclose the sources of the funding for the entity as well as the expenditures.
Since it appears that there are at least two employees of the League, it would have to generate enough income to pay those employees.
Per the registration statement required of every entity that must file, even if the League qualified for the short form (see Question 8), they would still have to list the top 5 paid employees, their names and titles in Question 16, and also fill out the short from financial statement which sets forth the annual income and expenses of the entity. It even has a line on the income side to identify the contributions from the founder(s)
Next move goes to the NJ Attorney General's office and the Internal Revenue Service.