Further Freedom Concert Charges
Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts have once again come under fire for allegedly fraudulent activity.
After conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel accused Hannity, Freedom Alliance and co. of keeping most of the money raised from the charitable events for expenses including highbrow travel, transportation and room fees, a Washington, D.C., legal watchdog group followed suit.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington recently filed complaints with the FTC and IRS claiming the conservative pundit and his associates engaged in “illegal and deceptive marketing practices” by giving the impression that all money from ticket sales goes to scholarships for children of killed and wounded service members.
CREW’s complaint also echoed allegations Schlussel reported on her blog from “inside sources” regarding the actual owner of the Freedom Concerts – Premiere Speaker’s Bureau. The company represents Hannity and Lt. Col. Oliver North for speaking engagements and donates only “a $4 surcharge on Freedom Concert tickets” to the Freedom Alliance scholarship fund, a source told Schlussel.
“There is little more despicable than preying upon the generosity of Americans by deceiving them into believing they are aiding the children of killed and wounded service members when the truth is most of the money is going to a for-profit venture,” CREW director Melanie Sloan said in a statement.
“Americans deserve to know whether this high-profile charity allegedly dedicated to helping veterans and their families is really doing what it says it is.”
CREW held a joint press conference with VoteVets.org, a pro-military organization.
“If not every dime is going to those who wore the uniform, then people have the right to know that,” VoteVets.org Chairman Jon Soltz said in a statement. “It’s really that simple.”
CREW has asked the IRS to consider revoking the 501c3 charitable tax status of Freedom Alliance over prohibited politically partisan activities.
Freedom Alliance president Tom Kilgannon called the complaints “baseless.”
“The smear-mongers who have launched this politically motivated witch hunt against Freedom Alliance will be proven wrong as we aggressively defend ourselves in the days and weeks ahead,” he said in a statement.