Scrutiny deepens of charity run by wife of Elijah Cummings as it stonewalls records requests

As reported by WashingtonExaminer

A charity run by the wife of House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings has not responded to media requests to view its public tax records, even as new questions have emerged about the group’s finances.

Maya Rockeymoore’s charity paid over $250,000 in “management fees” to her own for-profit consulting firm between 2013 and 2015, according to audited financial reports for the foundation published by the Daily Caller on Thursday. The payments were made by Rockeymoore’s foundation, the Center for Global Policy Solutions, to her consulting firm, Global Policy Solutions. The two entities also had a cost-sharing agreement in which the foundation covered its own expenses related to any joint projects.

IRS law prohibits insiders at nonprofit groups from self-dealing, or using foundation money for their own personal financial benefit. Tax records of nonprofit charities such as Rockeymoore’s are public and are supposed to be made available for viewing.

News of the payments, which experts said raise legal questions about self-dealing at the charity, came after the Washington Examiner reportedthat Rockeymoore’s foundation had received millions of dollars from corporations and special interest groups with business before her husband’s committee. Cummings, 68, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Rockeymoore, 48, is the chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and briefly ran in the state’s gubernatorial race last year.

The National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group that has been extensively investigating Rockeymoore’s foundation and for-profit consulting company, filed a complaint with the IRS in May detailing evidence of potential self-dealing at the charity. According to the complaint, Global Policy Solutions and the Center for Global Policy Solutions appeared to have overlapping operations, and the arrangement may have been used to derive “illegal private benefit.” 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 group and the LLC have mutual clients, donors and projects, and were located at the same address and share a phone number.

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If both groups were involved in managing the project, “the arrangement is ‘self-dealing’ and cannot be ‘arms length’” as required by IRS law and “prompt the question of whether its organizers are getting fat off the grants,” according to the National Legal and Policy Center’s complaint.