* Net Assets: -$25,002 (negative) (2010)
* Grants Received: $24,250 (2010)
* Grants Awarded: $0 (2010)
The Barack H. Obama Foundation (BHOF) was established in 2008 by Abon’go Malik Obama, the half-brother of U.S. President Barack Obama. Abon’go, a Kenyan-born Muslim, created the foundation in memory of his (and President Obama’s) biological father, Barack H. Obama (1936-82) of Nyan’goma Kogelo village in Kenya. For details about Abon’go Malik Obama’s ties to radical Islamists, terrorists, and the late Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi—as well as his relationship to his half-brother Barack Obama—click here.
Seeking to “provide people everywhere with resources to uplift their welfare and living standards,” BHOF claims to be “committed to a wide array of development and humanitarian projects which will help mitigate social shortcomings in areas of education and literacy, health and well-being, poverty, and … community infrastructure”—particularly as regards “basic needs such as water, electricity, shelter and sustenance.” The foundation’s guiding principle is “the inherent belief that no one can truly enjoy the riches he has reaped if his neighbor suffers.”
BHOF currently identifies its major project as the Siaya Community Self-Help Group, which focuses on helping impoverished residents of Siaya, Kenya to access clean drinking water, financial assistance, K-12 education, academic scholarships, medical care, leadership training, and guidance in small-business development. The foundation also claims to have funded the construction of a madrassa in Kenya. There is no concrete evidence, however, that BHOF has actually done any of these things. Financial records indicate that from 2008-10, the foundation received grants and donations totaling $42,923 but awarded no grants at all.
For details about what BHOF claims it will do in the future, click here.
BHOF’s website lists the foundation’s physical address as 107 S. West St. #401 in Alexandria, Virginia, a location that actually houses only a UPS store. “They probably just rent a mailbox here or receive mail here,” said one UPS employee there in May 2013. Equally problematic is the address listed in BHOF’s IRS filings—4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 110-152 in Arlington, Virginia—which houses only a marketing center for a drug-and-alcohol treatment organization known as A Better Today Recovery Services. When questioned about BHOF in May 2013, not a single employee in A Better Today’s office had ever heard of the foundation.
From 2008-11, BHOF operated illegally as a nonprofit group and falsely claimed tax-exempt status—for which it had not yet formally applied. The foundation finally submitted its 2010 application for nonprofit, tax-exempt status on May 23, 2011; seven days later, it submitted its filings for 2008 and 2009. Within just one month of these filings—on June 26, 2011—Lois Lerner, the senior official who headed the IRS’s tax-exempt organizations office, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to BHOF. This promptness represented a stark contrast to the experience of many conservative organizations that, beginning in 2010, had been intentionally forced (by Lerner’s office) to wait more than three years, in some cases, for approval. Moreover, Lerner broke with the norms of tax-exemption approval by making BHOF’s tax-exempt status retroactive to December 2008.
According to Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center: “The Obama Foundation raised money on its web page by falsely claiming to be a tax deductible. This bogus charity … had not even applied and yet subsequently got retroactive tax-deductible status.” Boehm described Abon’go Malik Obama’s attempt to raise money under the nonprofit banner as “common law fraud and potentially even federal mail fraud.”