Is it possible the IRS targeting scandal impacted a non-profit organization here in Arkansas?
We may never know for sure, but if you connect the dots... things certainly look suspicious.
The IRS has admitted that non-profit groups with words like "patriot," "constitution," and especially "tea party" in their names were targeted for heightened scrutiny.
Which might explain why Curtis Coleman has been waiting so long for his foundation to be granted non-profit status by the IRS.
In February of last year the "Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy" filed paperwork with the IRS in Cincinnati to be recognized as a non-profit 501-c-3 organization.
In June the application was flagged and sent to Washington D.C.
"Frankly I thought that our application was fairly straight-forward and therefore was surprised when about three months later I got a letter saying our case had been assigned to Washington D.C. to one of exempt application specialists," says John Lessel, the attorney of record for the Coleman's institute.
Lessel also serves on the Institute's Board of Directors.
He says the timing of the delay and IRS probe is curious, but more likely coincidental.
"The request for information we got was one page and the questions were basically straight forward," says Lessel. "And so that in my opinion leads me to conclude that we might have been flagged but I don't think we were targeted for the kind of abuses that have been revealed over the past few weeks."
If it can't be proven that Coleman's organization was targeted then what else might explain the delay in getting non-profit status?
First of all several required 990 forms weren't filed. And Lessel says a major backlog is also probably playing a part.
Air date: May 30th, 2013