I believe I've discovered part of the answer to that question. And in terms of things an organization that enjoys a "Public Support Percentage" of "97.590 percent" might want to keep hidden, it's a real whopper. (Incidentally, that "97.590 percent" comes directly from the CCSPCA's 2010 tax return.) If members of the City Council or the Fresno County Board of Supervisors were allowed to sit on the CCSPCA Board of Directors, they would most certainly begin asking questions about some of the things that any Fresno County resident with a computer, Internet access and a curious nature can easily discover for themselves.
|What's going on in this building - and why did it cost $50,000 to $75,000 a year?|
“What kind of things?,” you ask. Well, how do possible collusion with tax evasion and apparently providing funds to a movement that the FBI has identified as a “domestic terrorist group” strike you?
Here then, is the “documentation” portion of the complaint that I filed with the IRS about activities at the CCSPCA, based on inconsistencies I noticed in their Federal Tax Returns.
“I've been doing some Internet research on the CCSPCA, its history and its business practices. And, in doing so, I discovered what I think might be evidence of some financial impropriety involving the shelter and a former member of the board. The whole thing started when I took a look at the CCSPCA's tax returns.
Here is the link I used to access the CCSPCA's tax returns:
I typed Fresno County Humane Society into the search box and that took me to links to the CCSPCA's 2002 - 2010 returns. I downloaded them so that I could review them more easily.
On the 2010 return (for year 2009), look for Schedule L. Scan down to section IV (Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons). The second listing is "Shebaniah Ministries." The relationship listed is "Former Director" and the amount is "$65,044" for "printing services."
Shebaniah Ministries is also listed on the CCSPCA's 2009 return the same way, with "$74,049" for "printing services." (Yosemite Lumber is listed on the 2009 return for "$207,880" for "construction services" - and I'll address my concerns about this company later.)
I was curious about why a "ministry" was listed for printing services. I suppose there ARE churches that have printing shops, but I would think that's a rather unusual circumstance. So, I googled "Shebaniah Ministries Fresno." The only reference I could find was here:
I'd like to draw your attention to the address listed for Shebanaih: 2417 E. Belmont. Also note the "Industry": Religious Organization. I couldn't find any other information. I was unable to find “Shebaniah Ministries” in the list of Fresno, CA, non-profits on the IRS website. And, of course, I couldn't find any reference to it as a printing business anywhere– no matter how I worded my search and after several hours trying.
I asked people familiar with the CCSPCA if any of them were familiar with Shebanaih and was informed by a former employee of the shelter that it was connected with Leroy Combs, a former Board Member. I was also told that Combs runs a printing business.
Next, I googled “Leroy Combs Fresno” and the first listing that came up was this one – which shows Mr. Combs is the owner of Ideas Unlimited Printing :
According to LinkedIn.com, Combs is also the owner/operator of Little People's School/Daycare:
Next, I googled “Ideas Unlimited Fresno,” and found a host of regular business listings, including Yellow Pages, Google Business, etc. Here is the link to the Yellow Pages listing:
Notice the address: 2417 E. Belmont. That's the same address as Shebanaih Ministries.
Here is the Google Maps listing for Ideas Unlimited (Shebanaih does not appear to have a Google Maps listing):
I wondered - if Mr. Combs has a regular printing business (Ideas Unlimited Printing) that is doing the printing for the CCSPCA and which appears to be open to the public (because of the many results returned by Google when I searched for it), WHY was that not the name listed on the CCSPCA's tax returns?
The only reason I could come up with is that Mr. Combs has been reporting income from the CCSPCA on the tax returns of Shebanaih Ministries (which claims to be a non-profit religious organization) instead of on the returns of Ideas Unlimited Printing (which would owe normal taxes for this income). If this is true, isn't that tax evasion of some sort?
Now, it's one thing for Mr. Combs to report the income this way, that's his business and if there's impropriety, it's his. But for the CCSPCA to report the income that way on its tax returns, implies that someone there knows what Mr. Combs has been doing. And that would make them an accomplice, wouldn't it? I believe it's also worth noting that in Part VI Section B. “Policies” of the CCSPCA's 2009 return, for Line 11 “Has the organization provided a copy of this Form 990 to all members of its governing body before filing the form?” - the answer provided is “Yes.”
I asked someone I know who works with contracts between a city government and its vendors about my suspicions. I was told that if the addresses were the same, the next step would be to look at the tax returns of Shebanaih for definite proof of tax evasion. (This is something I have yet to be able to do, despite the fact that Shebanaih's tax returns should be readily available just like every other non-profit's returns are.) My source also told me the fact that both Shebanaih and Ideas Unlimited Printing have the same address should have raised a "giant red flag" with management at the CCSPCA and with the person filing their taxes. Additionally I was told, even if, for some reason, what Mr. Combs was doing was not - in fact - illegal, it's something most businesses (and their customers) would avoid at all costs because it "looks suspicious."
A visit to 2417 E. Belmont revealed what appears to be a rather shabby residential building, with no signage identifying it as either Shebanaih Ministries or Ideas Unlimited Printing. However, the front of the building is posted with two signs:
1. “Private land for private use no trespass”
2. “Under Authority of the Supreme Court and the United States of America – Notice and Warning – To whom it may concern, proof of exemption from statutory laws. This premises, its contents, the people residing here and any and all businesses are owned, controlled and/or subject to the rules and regulations governing a SOVEREIGN INDIVIDUAL with DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY under COMMON LAW (Equity Law, Case Law) per decisions handed down by the Supreme Court of the united STATES OF AMERICA. The enclosed information provides all the necessary judicial decisions to verify and substantiate that claim. The people at this domicile have filed and have recorded a UCC-1 FORM ESTABLISHING THEM AS A SOVERIGN INDIVIDUAL WITH DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY UNDER THE “FOREIGN SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY ACT” TITLE 12 USC SEC, 95. Failure to heed this notice and not to verify this warning could subject one to Title 18 U.S. Criminal codes 241 and 242 resulting in penalties from one (1) to ten (10) years in prison and/or a fine of $1,000.00 to $10,000.00. VIOLATORS WILL BE BILLED. U.S. v. Minor 350 U.S 179 at 187 and 6767 – 10 198 Code – Subtitle F Ch. 75A Part 1 Sec 7214. OFFENSES BY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES (code of Law)” (**Please note: The spelling, punctuation, capitalization and grammar errors are taken directly from the sign.**)
I spent two weeks researching everything that I have outlined above. In that time, I also noticed that there appear to be lots of other inconsistencies and possibly missing information on the CCSPCA's tax returns. I didn't look very closely at returns beyond 2008. Shebanaih Ministries is listed on that return as having been paid $50,721 for printing - but for some reason they're NOT included under the section “Businesses Transactions Involving Interested Persons.”
Additionally, Yosemite Lumber is once again listed on 2008 return for $361,903 for "construction services" and is listed under “Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons.” (I find the Yosemite Lumber numbers suspicious though, because while everyone I have asked that regularly visits the shelter cannot remember a significant amount of construction going on at the CCSPCA between 2007 and 2009, Yosemite Lumber was paid more than $600,000 in that period.)
To be honest, I was a little stunned by how inconsistently the CCSPCA's recent returns appear to have been completed. Even I can see things that are clearly troubling – and I'm not an accountant.
Finally, I would like to note that the CCSPCA's returns are prepared by Anthony J. Andrade, CPA, of Andrade & Company, An Accountancy Corp. located at 5080 N. Fruit Avenue, Suite 103, Fresno, CA, 93711.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.”
Some of you are asking, “Hey, didn't you say something about 'domestic terrorists'?” Yes, I did - and it's not a charge I arrived at lightly.
From the Anti-Defamation League website: “The 'sovereign citizen' movement is a loosely organized collection of groups and individuals who have adopted a right-wing anarchist ideology originating in the theories of a group called the Posse Comitatus in the 1970s. Its adherents believe that virtually all existing government in the United States is illegitimate and they seek to 'restore' an idealized, minimalist government that never actually existed. To this end, sovereign citizens wage war against the government and other forms of authority using "paper terrorism" harassment and intimidation tactics, and occasionally resorting to violence."
|This is the cover page of a guide recently distributed to law enforcement officers across the country to help them identify members of the "Sovereign Citizen Movement."|
The second notice posted at 2417 E. Belmont would appear to identify the residents/owners as members of the "Sovereign Citizen" movement. That movement has also been identified by the FBI as a domestic terrorist organization and as a "growing threat to law enforcement."
Now, I would like supporters of the CCSPCA to once again reiterate what a “wonderful” group they are and how they have been “unfairly” accused of greed and not giving a damn about animals - by people like me and by "false media reports." I've laid out the facts as I see them as plainly as possible – and I've included links for anyone who cares to verify any information themselves. As for the final conclusion about what it all means, I'll leave that up to the IRS, the FBI, the California State Attorney General's Office – and the taxpayers who've been coughing up $3 million a year to fund the CCSPCA.
But I ask you, if this is indicative of transactions that have been - if not sanctioned by - at the very least "rubber stamped" by the CCSPCA's Board of Directors (who by their own admission approve tax returns before they're filed), what else have they been a party to that they were afraid the City of Fresno, Fresno County - or taxpayers - might discover?
UPDATE: It appears that I'm not the only citizen examining the CCSPCA, its board members and their business practices. As you can see from the comments below, there's quite a bit of material to find. However, the most interesting revelation so far is that the Federal Government has already filed one suit against Mr. Combs right here in Fresno in January of this year. The charges? "Tax Liability" (I'd like to offer a huge "Thank You!" to Glorybug for the heads up on this additional resource material and information.)