Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Global Warming Double Dipper Enriches Family With Tax Dollars

by Ethan Barton

A global warming crusader used a tax-exempt nonprofit to stuff his families’ pockets at the expense of taxpayers, according to a complaint filed with the Internal Revenue Service by two watchdog groups Tuesday.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute and Cause of Action filed a complaint asking the IRS to revoke the exempt status of the Institute of Global Environment and Society Inc. — a global warming advocate that has received over $60 million in federal grants.

The nonprofit’s founder and president is George Mason University Professor Jagadish Shukla, who was also the lead signatory of a Sept. 1 letter urging President Obama to investigate fossil fuel companies for deceiving “the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

The letter said the government should use the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that is used to prosecute members of organized crime syndicates.

“It’s incredibly ironic that, while Dr. Shukla accuses global warming skeptics of deceiving the public, his own environmental organization has been pulling a fast one at taxpayer expense,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “His attempt to use RICO to silence public debate is groundless, and so is his organization’s tax-exempt status.”

Shukla was “double dipping” between his nonprofit and George Mason, according to the complaint.
“Evidence gleaned from public and IRS records tends to show that Dr. Shukla was compensated by George Mason University for time spent on IGES projects and vice-versa,” the complaint said. “It is not clear what work, if any, Dr. Shukla performs on behalf of IGES that is separate from his full-time work as a professor and director of the Climate Dynamics Program at George Mason University.”

For example, Shukla received $333,000 from IGES in 2014 for working 28 hours per week and was paid $314,000 by George Mason that same year. He earned $647,000 total in2014 between George Mason and IGES.

Meanwhile, IGES’ business manager and Shukla’s wife — Anastasia Shukla — received $166,000 in 2014, while his daughter, Sonia, is employed as their assistant at an undisclosed salary.

...Also, IGES received more than $3.8 million in government grants, which accounted for all of its contributions and all but nearly $14,000 of its total revenue, according to the complaint. That means Shukla and his family were actually paid mostly with tax dollars.

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