The Adrian Peterson Charity Accusations Were Already Known About and Taken Care Of (UPDATE: ADRIAN RESPONDS AND WE LOOK AT THE 990S)

UPDATE2: Adrian tweeted out a bunch of things that say the same things:




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 admist 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 below 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 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 (not the Maryland group whose address is listed) but the 2011 form includes the EIN for an organization recognized as “Straight from the Heart Ministries”.

For what it’s worth, the PO Box address for Straight from the Heart Ministries is listed as P.O. Box 905. Randallstown, MD—not the one listed in any of the donation forms.

Bill Horn, also listed as William Horn in the documents, is known outside of that ESPN report to be involved in a ministry called “Straight from the Heart”, written about here. On the 990s, he is the treasurer.

I don’t really have a reason to not take the word of Bruce Richman, 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, but 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).

So that’s where we are. Original story and PFT story below

UPDATE: Adrian Peterson’s charity came out with a statement confirming everything in this post.

Richman said he’s since talked to reporters from the Star Tribune, but detailed some of the errors in their story. Much of it stemmed from the poor management of the foundation prior to 2011 (when Peterson cleaned house and hired a new team to manage it).

“There’s no real story since 2011,” Richman said. “Because we’ve cleaned everything up.”

For instance, the paper reported that a group called Straight From the Heart Ministries in Laurel, Md. denied receiving money from Peterson. Richman said that was because the foundation gave to a group in California with the same name. That was similar to a paperwork confusion regarding donations to food banks in Texas.

That ProFootballTalk piece details the fact that the All Day Foundation had cleaned house to resolve the 2008-2011 management problems. It also provided Florio a list with all of Peterson’s contributions, which total $1.4 million of Adrian’s own money.

Also in that piece is the tidbit that Adrian’s own money, not the All Day Foundation’s, paid for the hotel room. That would resolve the matter entirely and is in direct contradiction with the Strib piece.

Original story below.


Adrian Peterson was the subject of a lengthy investigative piece by the Star Tribune, which broadly looks at a number of indiscretions about Peterson’s past, and in particular takes a deep look at the charity in Adrian Peterson’s name, the All Day Foundation. This of course comes on the heels of Peterson’s arrest and already well-covered scandal over injury to his child.

The charity itself is accused of extreme fraud, including evidence that the charity lied about its donations—in particular, two stood out. One to the “Straight from the Heart Ministries” worth $70,000 never reached a Maryland group with that name. In the article, the president of the Maryland nonprofit had this to say: “There have been no outside [contributions] other than people in my own circle. Adrian Peterson — definitely not.”

Straight from the Heart Ministries, at least the one listed in the IRS documents, likely refers not to the Maryland group that the Star Tribune piece looked at, but one that ESPN looked at a month ago, detailed below. This means, of course, there is no missing $70,000.

The second specific accusation against the charity includes a donation that may have simply been mislabeled (though as an act of bookkeeping, that’s sloppy enough to raise big eyebrows), where the group is listed as having given to the North Texas Food Bank, which never received any money from them. The East Texas Food Bank claims to have received money from the All Day Foundation that year, however. The Star Tribune did not mention if they pulled up the East Texas Food Bank’s tax returns to verify that information.

The way the piece is written seems to imply that there are big worries with the charity, but it doesn’t follow through on its implied promise to delve deeper into the issues it sees; though the $70,000 dollars is a big deal, the piece seems to indicate that there are many issues that are worth looking into. The sloppy bookkeeping is worrisome enough and many athlete’s charities use loose accounting to hide embezzlement (which comes in the form of income that cannot be taxed), but there aren’t other definitive accusations.

None of these are new issues, and the poor accounting and bad bookkeeping has already been acknowledged and potentially taken care of.

These issues were already known to the foundation. According to ESPN, Bruce Richman, the current chair of the charity, was hired to clean up the charity’s finances and readily acknowledged back in September that the charity was run poorly. He put it under the umbrella of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, which manages the finances for several charities. Richman is a well-known philanthropy consultant, an industry that’s seen a big boom specifically to avoid this kind of problem. Per the ESPN article:

This year, the All Day Foundation became part of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, an umbrella organization that manages the finances for several charities. Prior, and since its founding in 2008, it had been a stand-alone 501c3 organization. Richman said he became involved in 2011 after Peterson’s financial adviser “recognized a problem with the foundation’s financial management and which organizations were receiving funds.”

Specifically, Outside the Lines, ESPN’s investigative journalism arm, had already examined the 2008-2011 tax forms and found that over 50 percent of the organization’s revenue went to the Straight from the Heart Ministries. It’s the same ministry that recruited Reggie White to do its proselytizing and was well known in the 1990s for its active work in denouncing homosexuality.

Bill Horn, who ran the group, became friends with a former teammate of Adrian’s at Oklahoma and ended up being the treasurer of Peterson’s charity for a short time (he is no longer the treasurer). Though listed as the president of that ministry, he says he was not involved with it and does not see a conflict of interest on being on the board of Peterson’s charity and its largest recipient.

Horn noted that the ministry did business in Chicago, Minnesota and Texas. Though churches are not required to disclose their charitable work or their tax forms, Horn assured ESPN that the charity’s mission had changed from denouncing homosexuality to helping those in the inner city.

Regardless, these are known issues that have since been resolved. From that ESPN piece:

Richman said Peterson had no knowledge of the money given to Straight From The Heart Ministries and was not involved in managing the foundation then.

“The foundation was not run properly from 2008 to 2011,” Richman said.

Richman provided “Outside the Lines” a copy of the foundation’s 2011 IRS form, which has been filed with the IRS and which he said will be the last to show any donations to Straight From The Heart Ministries. He said the 2012 form will be filed soon. He said he chose to move the foundation this summer under the management of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners to save on administrative costs and to be more efficient.

Richman said he’s been working since 2011 to clean up the foundation, get Peterson more involved in the decision-making and broaden its reach to more charities. He provided a spreadsheet that showed the grants the All Day Foundation gave in 2012 and 2013 that totaled $423,500, which includes the $125,000 installment on Peterson’s personal $500,000 pledge to the University of Oklahoma. The charity also has pledged $500,000, though none of that money has been raised.

More salaciously, the Star Tribune piece accuses the charity of having used funds to provide for an orgy in a hotel room, attended by Adrian Peterson, two relatives (one of whom is a minor), and four women. The older relative, according to a police report that the Star Tribune acquired, used a credit card from the foundation in order to pay for the room.

Though the piece implies an orgy that involves several sex acts with several different people, there’s some indication that he only had sex with one woman that night. Given that the Star Tribune piece implies their argument instead of states it (though they never used the word “orgy,” only the articles that have linked to the Tribune piece do that), and that it seems like the police report details the fact that a woman was upset with Peterson’s sexual relations with one other woman (not many), this seems to be the case.

Regardless, the issue of charity funds being used for this purpose bother me more than who Adrian Peterson chooses to have sex with. In this case, Peterson himself didn’t misuse charity funds, and it occurred prior to Richman’s arrival with the organization. Richman was happy to provide ESPN with the charity’s 2011 and 2012 tax forms, which included the 2011 discrepancies but are the last of its kind, according to Richman. I couldn’t find a followup story where Richman provided the complete 2012 tax form, but neither the Star Tribune nor ESPN has a more recent accusation than the 2011 issues.

Richman provided ESPN with a spreadsheet, as detailed in the quote above, over how the charity’s money would be used in a new way after the 2008-2011 mishandling was taken care of. It also sounds like Peterson had no knowledge of how the charity was run before he and his team hired Richman. Though irresponsible to put his name on a charity he ended up not overseeing, it’s hardly news that an athlete’s charity worked without his knowledge.

Whether or not Peterson knew the room was paid for by the charity is unknown; family members are often members of the board on these charities, or are paid employees, sometimes given access to those funds; that sounds like the case with the relative who used a company credit card. If Adrian knew that the room was paid for by the charity, that would be a big problem, but it is irresponsible not to at least acknowledge that the 2014 version of the charity, before the website shut down, and the 2011 version of the charity are two different beasts entirely.