(FiveNation.com)- Stacey Abrams, the two-time failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate, could be in hot water for the actions of one of her non-profit organizations.
The Washington Free Beacon conducted an investigation recently and found that the New Georgia Project, led by Abrams, had collected donations without having the proper licenses in nine different states at least.
Many states have laws in place that prohibit any non-profit organization from asking for donations if they’ve not filed the proper IRS financial disclosures. The Free Beacon found, though, that the New Georgia Project missed the deadline of November 15 to file Form 990.
Despite that, the organization is raising funds through a campaign across the nation that’s hosted on ActBlue, an online platform for fundraising. Representatives at the appropriate agencies in North Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee — states where the organization’s license has already expired — said that the organization could be fined anywhere from $25 all the way to $25,000 for violating their laws.
The representatives added that the fine amounts could be per infraction — or, in other words, that amount for every single donation the New Georgia Project collects illegally in their state.
That’s not all the trouble that the organization could face, though, according to one of the attorneys at the National Legal and Policy Center. Paul Kamenar said recently:
“It’s clear that the New Georgia Project is in gross violation of many state laws by soliciting contributions from the public while their registration as a charity has lapsed.”
Kamenar further said that his organization “plans to file formal complaints with appropriate state enforcement agencies demanding an investigation and imposition of penalties.”
In 2020 alone, the New Georgia Project was able to raise $25, ending that year with $18.5 million in the bank. The organization was often look at as the “poster child” of Abrams’ ongoing efforts to boost up Democrats in her home state.
The charity was one led by current Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock.
But, less than two years after reporting those impressive financial numbers, half of the leadership team at the organization was dismissed, back in October.
The Free Beacon’s investigation also revealed that the New Georgia Project has accepted donations from citizens in some states where it doesn’t hold an active charity solicitation license. Two of those states are Washington and Colorado.
The latter has a charity navigator posted online, and it shows that since November 15, the New Georgia Project’s status is labeled as “Expired-May Not Solicit.”
Annie Orloff, who serves as a spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office in Colorado, said any unlicensed charity that solicited contributions in the state could face charges of charity fraud. Those who violate that law could face criminal penalties, she said.
Orloff added that her agency has already contacted the New Georgia Project regarding its charity status in their state.
In Maine, the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation told the Free Beacon that an investigation there could be opened should a complaint be filed against the New Georgia Project, whose license expired there on November 30.