Talk about a questionable deal and this would be it.
There’s no doubt that Rev. Al Sharpton has had an interesting life. That might be one way of putting it.
But is it worth $531,000? Paid to him by the charity foundation of which he is the president?
From Fox News:
The National Action Network agreed to pay the activist preacher $531,000 for his “life story rights for a 10-year period,” according to the non-profit’s latest tax filing, which was obtained by The Post.
NAN can apparently turn around and sell those rights to Hollywood or other takers at a profit, but neither the reverend nor the charity would identify what producers are waiting for such Sharpton content.
The document does not indicate when Sharpton, who is president of NAN, gets the cash, which is above and beyond the $244,661 he already pulled down in compensation from the group in 2017.
Sharpton also wouldn’t say when the cash would come in.
“What does that have to do with anything?” he said, speaking to The Post Saturday from South Africa, where he is hosting an MSNBC broadcast on the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.
NAN took in $6.3 million last year.
Sharpton said the idea came from two board members who wanted to create revenue for the foundation but he refused to identify who they were.
Sharpton claims he has two contracts for movies, another in the process and a play in the works but would not provide any information about the deals.
“You’ve got real property here. You’re not talking about just me as an activist. These are non-related NAN things that are the saleable items,” he said.
Sharpton said that the assets were appraised and the movie deals alone could bring in at least triple to NAN over what it was paying him for the rights.
The organization says a private donor put up the money to make the purchase, but did not name the donor.
Obviously, because he is the president of the foundation, there is a question of conflict in the deal.
If NAN paid too much it could run afoul of IRS rules regarding excess benefits given to a nonprofit’s key officials, which might put its tax-exempt status in jeopardy, Marcus Owens, a former IRS official and a partner with the Loeb & Loeb law firm in Washington, DC.
“When I see this kind of thing, it just makes me roll my eyes because there’s so much potential for funny business,” said Linda Sugin, a Fordham University Law School professor and associate dean.
The organization’s tax filing noted that the board’s unnamed “executive committee independently approved” the deal.
Sharpton has millions in tax liens that have not yet been canceled. He paid off a lot of state taxes this year but still owes state and federal taxes which he claims he is paying on the installment plan.
People thought there was something more than a little funny about the deal.