Eric Kessler, founder of left-wing dark money giant Arabella Advisors, may have enriched himself using four tax-exempt organizations, Americans for Public Trust (APT) alleged in an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) complaint filed Tuesday.
The IRS must investigate whether Kessler obtained personal gain from payments to Arabella totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, and if these payments exceeded the reasonable market value for the services provided, according to APT’s complaint. The four Kessler-affiliated funds in the complaint are New Venture Fund, Sixteen Thirty Fund, Windward Fund and Hopewell Fund, and they may “have directly diverted substantial portions of their income and assets for the personal benefit of Mr. Kessler.”
“Eric Kessler created one of the most complex and sophisticated dark money networks influencing U.S. politics and policy today,” Caitlin Sutherland, APT executive director, said in a statement. “Now, it appears as though he misled the IRS and may have illegally personally benefited by rerouting nonprofit cash back into his own pocket through Arabella Advisors. The IRS must immediately investigate this scheme and determine to what degree Eric Kessler has used Arabella and their managed-nonprofits for his own self-enrichment.”
Kessler founded Arabella in 2005 and the corporation has received more than $228,000,000 from the four funds since 2006, according to the complaint.
We’ve filed a complaint with the IRS calling for an investigation into the @ArabellaAdvisorliberal dark money network.
— Americans for Public Trust (@apublictrust) August 15, 2023
New Venture Fund and Hopewell Fund gave tens of millions to Voter Registration Project, an organization that works to help Democrats win elections, from 2016 to 2021, the Daily Caller News Foundation recently reported. Arabella’s funds also bankrolled online “misinformation” research that mainly targeted conservatives, the DCNF previously reported.
“This is a meritless complaint from an organization that is obviously pursuing an agenda,” Arabella Spokesperson Steve Sampson told the DCNF. “To be clear, Arabella Advisors is a business dedicated to making philanthropic work more efficient, effective, and equitable.”
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