Not surprising, but demoralizing nonetheless. When Guru, the erstwhile Gang Starr MC, passed last week, the news was accompanied by a very suspicious sounding letter. The missive, which began “I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world,” purported to be written by the rapper on his deathbed, and directed mourners to a charity, Each One Counts, “dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life.”
The only problem? Guru, it turned out, had been a coma for months; the letter, it wasn’t hard to surmise, was written instead by Solar, the late rapper’s post- Gang Starr confidant and partner, who had restricted Guru’s family’s access to their ailing kin in the months before the rapper’s death and had repeatedly reserved all rights regarding “name likeness, events tributes etc,” for himself. Now, in an inevitable bit of reporting, Birthplace Magazine has turned up the address and name on file behind Each One Counts. It is, shocker, Solar’s wife:
Each One Counts, Inc., lists very little public information on record. This is somewhat abnormal for a non-profit organization, which is required by federal law to file particular tax records which are usually available for public review. In the case of Each One Counts, Inc., the only public information was the name the foundation is listed under, Denise Sandoval, and the address, 119 Rockland Ctr, #328, Nanuet, NY 10954.
Denise Sandoval is also known as Denise Mosher. Denise Mosher is the wife of John Mosher, aka Solar. The address is a UPS Store.
Of course, this is no proof in itself of any impropriety, though it doesn’t look great. Surely a charity has been run out of a UPS Store before. But the most damning details turn out to regard the company’s tax filings:
By law, tax records of non-profit organizations are available for public review. According to the IRS, if a non-profit grosses less than $25,000 for the year, the organization is required to file a 990N form, also known as an “e-Postcard”. Records of these filings are kept online at the IRS website, and are visible to anyone.
There are no 990N forms on file for Each One Counts, Inc.
IRS Form 990EZIf a non-profit organization grosses more than $25,000 per year, they are required by the IRS to file taxes using 990 or 990EZ forms. While these records are not directly available for online search at IRS.gov, there are third party websites that house these records for easy access by the public.
There are no 990 or 990EZ returns on file for Each One Counts, Inc.
So the charity has either grossed absolutely no money at all, ever, has grossed over $25K but has someone been lost in the thirty party systems Birthplace is searching, or simply hasn’t filed tax returns–the kind of thing that will get you stripped of your non-profit status in a hurry.
Anyone who has been following this sad story probably already knows that Solar is a shady individual: everyone from Guru’s old partner, DJ Premier, to his cousin, have come forward to attest to the generally cruel, opportunistic nature of Solar’s relationship with Guru in the years before the MC’s death. The fact that Each One Counts is being run by that dude’s family is reason enough to avoid it. But for those who weren’t already convinced, perhaps this will do the trick.
Guru Charity Not Guru’s: Linked To Solar’s Wife, May Not Be Valid Non-Profit [Birthplace, via Byron Crawford]