Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian are doing some serious damage control now that Lamar is being blasted for mishandling the finances of his Cathy's Kids charity. Find out where Lamar went wrong inside....
Now that LA Clippers baller Lamar Odom has been embarrassed by an ESPN "Outside The Lines" story claiming funds from his Cathy's Kids charity have been misused, he and his PR team are attempting some serious damage control.
The fallout stems from the "OTL" investigation finding that most of the $2.2 Million raised for Lamar's cancer research charity went towards two "elite" youth basketball teams and there's no documentation to support that ANY money was used towards cancer-related causes.
Also, the sole employee at Cathy's Kids just happens to be Lamar's high school basketball coach (who collects a $72K salary). And to make matters worse, the charity is now in the red, owing $256K. And when questioned about the findings, Lamar raised eyebrows saying, "It's my money."
His wife Khloe jumped to his defense saying that Lamar had donated more that 90%of the money raise by the foundation and,
"All of the funds donated by Lamar and the other contributions to Cathy’s Kids were used for one of the foundation’s intended charitable purposes. Not one penny went to help Lamar personally or any member of his family. No charitable funds were misused, and the IRS has repeatedly given Cathy’s Kids a clean bill of health, confirming that there were no improprieties."
Not so fast.....
The reason Lamar's activities are being look at as "fraud" is simply the way his charity has been doing business. Andrew Bondarowicz, a lawyer who specializes in non-profits told Radar Online,
“Lamar made the comment that the money is his, and I believe it was just a statement out of ignorance because he doesn’t understand. Once money comes into the organization, regardless of who put it in there, it’s not yours anymore. It belongs to the public. That charity is now stepping into the shoes of the government doing public work.”
Those sentiments where echoed by Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator who added,
“Often times I think a lot of charities and a lot of these celebrity charities suffer from cluelessness. You become famous and you get a big head and you think you know things that you may not know. Running a non-profit is just not happy day, there’s a lot that goes into it."
Now Lamar and his team have been pushing forward stories about individuals who were helped by Cathy's Kids. TMZ reports that Ryan Pearson, who plays basketball overseas, has come forward since the scandal broke to credit Lamar with funding his "private" high school education and assisting him in other ways (team travel, team registration fees, buses, and meals) to help him become a professional athlete.
Lamar and his camp are arguing that Cathy's Kids may not have donated anything to cancer-related projects, but folks have been "helped" along the way....in the area of basketball.
CharityWatch president t Daniel Borochoff, says this is exactly where Lamar went wrong,
“I always have a problem when I see a big famous celebrity having a charity. Somebody like him should really just offer to be a spokesperson for an existing charity. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about the potential scandal. If he just wanted to throw money around at young basketball players, he should do just that. You don’t need a charity, but since he has one it should be done properly.”
Unfortunately, this fiasco may leave a stain on anything Lamar and Khloe associate themselves with and could make people give a side-eye to foundations run by athletes.
It seems like Lamar's intentions are good....he just needs to clean up things on the business side.