AnalysisOff-The-Field Issues

Adrian Peterson Fires Shots at the Star Tribune—And The Charity Was Poorly Run Before Fixed (UPDATE WITH RETRACTION)

UPDATE: Below, there was erroneous information regarding two separate charities mistakenly identified as one group, and two separate people mistakenly identified as the same person. While I attempted to be clear, I have unfortunately caused greater confusion instead of clearing things up. For a full retraction and apology, click here. In short, I am wrong for conflating Straight from the Heart, Inc. in San Marcos with Straight from the Heart Ministries, whose current EIN points to North Carolina. I am also wrong in conflating Bill Horn, supervisor at the San Diego HHS, and William Horn, former treasurer of Adrian Peterson’s All Day Foundation. I am sorry to you, the readers, Adam at Vikings Territory, and everyone involved with Bill Horn and Straight from the Heart, Inc.

Adrian Peterson tweeted out some shots at the Star Tribune (“Journalism 101”) that clarify his end, and take them to task for their reporting on a story that alleges serious fraud:

In text:

Journalism 101:

1. My uncle and I never owned a Foundation Credit Card

2. ESPN contacted the CORRECT Foundation to clarify issues

3. ESPN found:STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART based in California confirms receiving donations, NOT S.F.T.H based in Maryland. A Fired CPA incorrectly listed MD but ESPN followed up by contacting the CORRECT Foundation.

4. California Straight From the Heart confirmed receiving donations!!!

5. East Texas Food Bank confirmed donation received. North Texas was incorrectly listed on 990 by a firm later fired by the Foundation (ESPN reporter confirmed.)

6. Make headlines by calling something an orgy (even though it was not) and incorrectly saying a Foundation card was used even though my uncle and I never owned one. ( All Day INC is TOTALLY different entity than the A.P. All Day Foundation)

7. Do not retract the false allegation because everyone believes the false allegation because it was printed first.

8. Do not repost the ESPN story from August when I admit I was promiscuous made mistakes and had to change my ways.

9. Instead Repost the story about fathering children out of wedlock..creates more  buzz and retweets.

10. I guess never let the truth get in the way of a good story

11. Take time to GREAT and get it right  .

As a commenter in the previous story notes, you can find the 990 forms online. Here’s 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. 2012-2013 are not online anywhere after incorporating under Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. The forms are a mess.

The Employee Identification Numbers for the “Straight from the Heart Ministries” in the 2008 and 2010 forms returns Victory Christian Center of the Desert from Rancho Mirage, CA (which is notably not Straight from the Heart Ministries) but the 2011 form includes the EIN for an organization recognized as “Straight from the Heart Ministries” (PO Box in North Carolina). For what it’s worth, the PO Box address for Straight from the Heart Ministries (as listed in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 forms) is listed as P.O. Box 905, Randallstown, MD—not the one listed in any of the donation forms.

This means the 2008 and 2010 forms have a name that doesn’t match an address, and Employer Identification Number that matches neither (the 2009 form does not list an EIN, but has the same address).

The one discrepancy to look at is the 2009 donation to the North Texas Food Bank, clarified by Peterson as a donation to the East Texas Food Bank, which they confirmed they received. The issue is that the East Texas Food Bank may be referring to the 2010 donation when they confirmed it. My guess is Peterson’s foundation was more likely to donate to the same food bank twice and simply listed it wrong the first time, but this should be followed up on (the alternative is that Peterson or someone in his name embezzled money the first time, but genuinely gave food to an identical organization the second time). The East Texas Food Bank (which is two entities by the IRS, one controlling the other) does not list contributors in their 990 forms.

The preparer for the 2008-2010 forms was a firm known as Montgomery Coscia Greilich LLP. In 2011, the preparer’s firm was Holthouse, Carlin & Van Trigt. Montgomery Coscia Greilich passed a 2012 inspection from the Public Company Accouting Oversight Board, and has not been demeaned or involved in any scandal as far as I can tell. Holthouse, Carlin & Van Trigt have been in the public eye, but not for anything negative.

Bill Horn, also listed as William Horn in the documents as the Treasurer, is known outside of that ESPN report to be involved in a ministry called “Straight from the Heart”, written about here (by Counterpunch, critical of their former stance on homosexuality).


When Bruce Richman, philanthropy consultant, took over the group prior to the 2012 fiscal year, the board (which comprised of Horn and three of Peterson’s relatives) was cleared out and the organization turned over to the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners.

I don’t really have a reason to not take the word of Bruce Richman, the current chair, but for what it’s worth, I could not find the All Day Foundation in the list of charities supported by the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. That’s less intriguing than it sounds, because it mostly lists either direct partners or organizations it’s donated to, not organizations that are their clients, which is what this sounds like.

Bruce Richman is not an employee of the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, but his own Inspired Philanthropy group, at this website.

I imagine this incorporation is the reason we cannot not find post-2011 tax filings for the foundation. I looked at the 2012-2013 tax filings for the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, but did not see mention of the All Day Foundation (again, not definitive proof of anything one way or the other).

Before the All Day Foundation’s website was taken down, you can find evidence of them giving to groups and those groups receiving the donations, through press releases released by those groups. That includes Cornerstone Minnesota (a domestic violence resource center), Team Rubicon (a group that organizes military veterans to volunteer for disaster relief), and the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which lists a donation from the All Day Foundation in their 990 forms (the other two do not, because they blacked out all their contributors, but acknowledge the foundation in press releases).

Adrian Peterson also made a distinction between Adrian Petersons All Day Foundation [sic—referred to that way in tax forms], and All Day, Inc. If the credit card belonged to All Day, Inc, then it could not be his charitable group, because that is not the name it carries. Many athletes and celebrities have incorporated themselves as corporations for tax reasons and to shield liability. Johnny Manziel has become famous for it, but it’s actually quite common—this is likely what happened here.

As of this writing, there are four corporations listed by the Secretary of State of California that could reasonably be interpreted as the “All Day Inc” Peterson is referring to, as well as three Texas corporations. There are none listed by the Secretary of State of Minnesota.

The story about Adrian Peterson acknowledging his promiscuity and promise to change (he references in tweets) is here, and the relevant passage is below:

Before his son’s death, Peterson had already begun meeting with a pastor, Calvin Simmons, who ministers to athletes through an organization called National Athletic Pastoral Care, for weekly Bible study that eventually led to premarital counseling as Peterson prepared to propose to Brown. He said he realized during that process that he needed to commit to one woman and live in accordance with his Christian beliefs.

The death of his son, Peterson said, served to reinforce the conclusion he had drawn in his mind about, among other things, stability and commitment.

“It’s time for you to really get your life in order,” Peterson recalled telling himself. “When all that stuff came down, it’s more like, ‘Reality check, man.’ It’s time to start walking the way you know you need to instead of straddling the fence — knowingly straddling the fence.

“First and foremost, [it was] getting in alignment what God wanted for me in my life and stop [being promiscuous]. I was pretty much doing what I wanted to do, and I could pretty much do that. [It was] just to get in alignment with God, having a wife and really creating that bond and that life. It was more fulfillment knowing the head man is proud and knowing I’m doing it the right way.”

So that’s where we are. My original story on the issue and PFT story here.

UPDATE: On KFAN, one of the authors of the Star Tribune piece defended their take against the Richman criticisms aired on ProFootballTalk:

“If there’s anything about Mike Kazuba, he’s thorough,” said Paul McEnroe. “He busted it trying to get the right people.”

When Dan asked about Richman’s comments, McEnroe said, “According to Mike, he attempted to call the foundation, but the foundation it turns out has a phone number that’s listed that’s disconnected. That’s one roadblock that we had to deal with. Until yesterday, nobody had ever heard of Richman who called Kazuba and described himself as a philanthropic adviser to Adrian Peterson.”

It turns out that if you look at any of their hosted assets, like this PDF still on their server despite the website being shut down, you’ll find Bruce Richman’s name at the very bottom as the contact. If you Google his name and the “All Day Foundation,” the first story (as of October 6) is the ESPN one that lists him as the head of the group, detailing that he took over specifically to resolve the problems the Star Tribune alleges the foundation to have.

Finding contact info for Richman is not difficult, if you look up his organization (Inspired Philanthropy) and his name, you’ll find his website, which has a contact. He’s also on LinkedIn. He’s spoken about corporate philanthropy before for a few universities and has been contacted by the media in the past for stories on celebrity philanthropy.

Now, the Star Tribune did mention that the filings for the 2012 and 2013 returns aren’t filed at all with the IRS yet (they filed an extension) because they are still working through the poor reporting of the previous board and regime. That is a huge issue, and one they could have mentioned if they talked to Richman.

McEnroe wants Richman to “prove it” in regards to Richman’s claim that things are cleaned up, but given that Richman provided non-tax documentation to ESPN in their September story, it’s not as if there’s a dearth of paperwork available. It is reasonable to be wary of late filings on these returns, but it deserves a mention.

When calling in to the show, McEnroe expresses reasonable frustration that when they connected the Laurel, Maryland PO Box in the filings to the Maryland ministry of the same name, that they were blindsided by the fact that it was a California organization—though the EIN’s of the listed group is in California and the listed director and treasurer ran an organization of the same name, which gained a high profile after Reggie White joined them in order to evangelize. He also expressed frustration that “we’re now learning it may have been in North Carolina” even though that was in the 2011 form McEnroe himself is claiming it doesn’t have.

I understand the Star Tribune’s reluctance to change the details of the story when they asked “where has the money gone?” but the guy who ran the Foundation also ran Straight from the Heart Ministries, and it is difficult to believe that they didn’t receive the money they said they received. The Ministry seems to no longer exist, so I’m not sure how the other end of it can be proven, but it would behoove Richman and the Foundation to produce backlogs and checks… though I think the search for that may be why it’s taken so long to file tax returns.

Mostly, I’m just disappointed that the Star Tribune, with three different reporters contributing to the story couldn’t find Bruce Richman’s name or the ESPN story from a month ago that talked about this.

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  1. Charities are tough, and anyone who has entertained starting one, or have done so….will attest. Surround yourself with family and ‘posse’, and it’s a recipe for chaos.

    Good or AP for fixing the issues, and speaking out. This whole article was a witch hunt…and I’d prefer journalists time be spent on investigating politicians….because that’s really matters. Absolute joke.

  2. I have only been in Minnesota for 10 years and when it comes to good objective reporting, I believe the Star Tribune is one of the worst major newspapers in the US. I rarely read it anymore and when I do my mind in always going “remember it is the Star Tribune this probably is not right, or only part of the story that they want you to read.”

  3. In other news, Harish Chandra is back on the team, so pseudodifferential operations on elliptic function spaces are still kewell.

  4. Arif Hasan:
    1. Does scouting and player analysis better than the Vikings do themselves.
    2. Is a better reporter than the ones at Mn’s newspaper of record.
    What’s not to like?!

  5. ok, so, quick trial is in the works for AD, just as we had speculated, AD the local hero wins after lawyer picks all AD-lovin’ jurors, or takes a really favorable plea deal, they’ve already started to repair his image, AD returns hell-bent for switches, er, leather, and we make the playoffs and win the super-frikken-bowl

    …and then i woke up. crap

  6. Yeah if we make the playoffs we might have AP back.
    and yes, Arif is better than all that crap. Maybe the STrib can pay him for analysis and lay off their layabout Joique-offs.

  7. The Star Tribune is supposed to be a professional operation employing competent journalists. It isn’t just a minor slip up or breakdown in communication, it’s an embarrassment to the entire profession. This kind of yellow journalism wouldn’t be tolerated in most high school newspapers! How is it that everyone who doesn’t work for the Strib was able to collect at least some of the basic facts surrounding the case? I mean, which scenario is worse: the one in which they suck so badly that three reporters, working together, couldn’t find publicly available information that was mentioned in an article by the biggest sports empire on earth just a few weeks ago, or the one in which they were so excited to slap a sensational expose on the front page that no one bothered to worry about fairness or accuracy? Hmmm…incompetence or unethical behavior? I’m having a hard time coming up with another plausible explanation. Thanks, Arif, for putting in the effort and doing it right (and, gasp, admitting when you make a mistake!)