Socialite and reality TV star Khloe Kardashian and her NBA star husband Lamar Odom are accused of running a charity scam.
According to an investigation by ESPN, eight charities connected with sports stars have allegedly misused the cash they rake in.
After his mother passed away from stomach cancer in 2004, Odom set up a charity to fund cancer research called Cathy’s Kids. But the ESPN investigation revealed that Cathy’s Kids hasn’t given a single penny to cancer research in the 9 years it has been in existence.
ESPN reports that Cathy’s Kids claims it has been “dormant for years,” despite the fact that ESPN found it is still actively fundraising.
Khloe and Lamar’s eBay store includes a reference to the Cathy’s Kids website. The ad’s text reads: “All auction items benefit Cathy’s Kids.”
Although the charity’s mission is supposed to be “making a positive impact on the lives of under-privileged children, as well as targeting a disease that has played a significant role in [Odom's] life,” it only seems he’s kept up half of that bargain. Cathy’s Kids’ mission statement continues, “Lamar lost his mother to stomach cancer and subsequently is committed to help causes that are focused on finding a cure and helping people who suffer from the disease. Lamar is focused on ensuring that funds are available for under-privileged youth that live in the inner cities of New York and Los Angeles.”
The latter part seems to be the one promise he has kept.
According to an investigation by ESPN, eight years of tax records show that Cathy’s Kids “primarily existed to finance two elite youth basketball travel teams. Of the $2.2 million raised by the charity, at least 60 percent — $1.3 million — went to those AAU teams.”
A chunk of the money raised by the charity also went into the bank account of its secretary, Jerry DeGregorio, a longtime confidante of Odom’s who was both his high school basketball coach and best man at his 2009 wedding to Kardashian. DeGregorio, now an assistant coach with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, reportedly earned a median annual salary of $72,000 from 2004 to 2011 from the charity … even though Cathy’s Kids was operating at a loss. In 2011, the organization’s tax return showed a debt of $256,000, according to ESPN. A rep for the Warriors did not immediately respond to omg!’s request for comment on DeGregorio’s involvement.
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