Subpoena Blitz Puts Heat on Al

Chuck Bennett, New York Post, June 19, 2008

The probe into the Rev. Al Sharpton’s finances intensified this week, with the IRS sending out a flurry of subpoenas to his most generous corporate donors, The Post has learned.

Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser and Michelob, confirmed yesterday that it received a federal subpoena in connection to its charitable giving to Sharpton’s National Action Network.

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Sharpton blasted the subpoena as a “fishing expedition” and said his donors are proud of their financial support. The St. Louis-based corporation donated between $100,000 and $499,000 to NAN in 2007 alone, according to its Web site, but declined further comment about its relationship with Sharpton. A knowledgeable source said several other corporate donors received or would soon receive subpoenas.

Sharpton himself, his business entities and his nonprofit civil-advocacy group owe millions in back taxes, documents show.

The IRS and the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn have an ongoing probe into Sharpton’s finances going back to his 2004 run for president and stewardship of NAN.

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As of 2006, the most recent year that financial documents for the group are publicly available, it owed $1.9 million in payroll taxes and penalties.

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News of the fresh subpoenas comes just days after The Post chronicled Sharpton’s relationship with some of the country’s largest corporations.

Sharpton threatened boycotts or protests against corporations while simultaneously soliciting donations and sponsorships of NAN events, The Post detailed.

Personally, Sharpton owes $931,397 in federal taxes and $365,558 in New York City taxes, according to an IRS lien.

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