By Globe Afrique News Desk |
NEW YORK–A 1980s registered nonprofit organization, the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL) violated the Internal Revenue Service’s regulations and laws of the United States as an American registered and based charity.
The ACDL was founded by exiled Liberian activists and politicians including retired Liberian president Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and others in the 1980s while in opposition to the regime of President Samuel Kanyon Doe. The organization was registered in the U.S in the state of Maryland as a not-for-profit organization with a tax-exempt status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
According to various testimonies and legal documents from active court cases filed in the U.S, and interviews and testimonies from some of the organization’s past members, the group allegedly deceived the U.S. government and the Internal Revenue Service by raising funds intended for charitable purposes but instead used the funds for non-charitable purposes such as supporting the violent overthrow of a foreign government and the destruction of lives and properties in the West African sub-region.
Testimonies from former Liberian Labor Minister Jucontee Thomas Woewiyou and a former finance manager of the ACDL, the late Harry Greaves, the group raised funds in establishing the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and its affiliate the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone.
The NPFL, led by Charles Taylor, waged a fierce battle against the government and people of Liberia, leading to the toppling of the Doe regime in Liberia. For its part, the RUF led by the late Corporal Foday Sankoh waged a bloody war on the people of Sierra Leone to forcibly take state power.
U.S. federal tax laws prohibit nonprofit organizations from engaging in a partisan political activity. Tax-exempt organizations may run afoul of the Internal Revenue Service’s laws if those groups take part in political campaigns for or against a candidate for public office, or a foreign government. Nonprofits that violate IRS guidelines and U.S. laws prohibiting nonprofits from partisan political activity risk losing their tax-exempt status and may also incur tax penalties and possible legal actions.
Source: Globe Afrique Media