Elder Patriot – The Washington Examiner is reporting that ethics watchdog, National Legal and Policy Center (NPLC) has filed a complaint with the IRS accusing the wife of House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings of commingling the finances of a charity she runs with a for profit LLC that she operates to derive “illegal private benefit” for herself and her husband.
The charity, the Center for Global Policy Solutions, is run by Cummings’ wife Maya Rockeymoore. It took in millions of dollars from special interest groups that had business before Cummings’ Oversight Committee.
Rockeymoore also runs a for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC, whose operations, according to the complaint, appear to have overlapped, resulting in the potential for her and her husband to enjoy “illegal private benefit.”
According to the complaint, the Center for Global Policy Solutions and the for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC, “have mutual clients, donors and projects, and were located at the same address and share a phone number.”
The complaint asked the IRS to investigate the “shared leadership,” “integrated operations,” and “shared address and physical facilities” of her two companies. Rockeymoore’s nonprofit and the LLC have mutual clients, donors and projects, and were located at the same address and share a phone number.
By itself, sharing a location and a phone doesn’t make the arrangement illegal, but it does raise a red flag. The IRS has strict laws requiring that both operations are managed independent of each other and that meticulous records be maintained to prove that.
The fact that both the Center for Global Policy Solutions and Global Policy Solutions, LLC vacated their offices more than a year ago, and left no forwarding address, certainly increases the appearance that they’re hiding something.
Here’s where it appears that both Rockeymoore and Cummings might’ve benefited personally.
Global Policy Solutions received more than $6.2 million in grants between 2013 and 2016, according to tax records. Several of the nonprofit group’s financial backers — which included Google, J.P Morgan, and Prudential — have business interests before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cummings has served as Democratic chairman of the committee since January and previously served as ranking member.
The largest contributor to the nonprofit organization was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a company that is regulated by Cummings’ committee. The foundation, which gave a total of $5.5 million to Rockeymoore’s consulting firm and $5.2 million to her nonprofit group, ceased supporting her groups in 2017.
In recent months, Cummings has been a vocal opponent of Johnson & Johnson, targeting the company as part of the House Oversight Committee’s probe of drug price inflation.
Under Cummings, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has wide authority to regulate business industries, including pharmaceuticals, banking, mortgage brokers, and technology. In recent years, Prudential, JP Morgan, and Johnson & Johnson have had business interests before the committee.
In addition to the potential “pay-to-play” violations Cummings was clearly in position to commit, it appears he failed to disclose his wife’s earnings from the $152,000 salary she took in in 2016 as required by federal law..
Tom Anderson is the director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project, which has been investigating the relationship between the Center for Global Policy Solutions and the for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC.
Anderson said the potential for corruption is “off the charts:”
“When a powerful chairman of a committee of the House of Representatives has a wife that is bringing in money from entities with interests before his Committee and she is not providing the transparency mandated by the IRS, there’s a serious problem. The potential for corruption in this situation is simply off the charts and can’t be understated.
We hope Chairman Cummings works with his wife to end the stonewalling and provide the public with what’s legally mandated all charities provide.”
Anderson said Rockeymoore declined to let his organization view her nonprofit organization’s most recent public financial records as required by the IRS.
The Washington Examiner wrote that neither Cummings nor Rockeymoore would discuss the allegations with them. Cummings also refused to “answer questions about the overlap between companies with interests before his committee and donors to his wife’s foundation.”
Likewise, “Rockeymoore did not respond to request for comment.”
Just another day in the swamp.