Mikey Weinstein Admits to Hiring Himself, and Gets a Pay Raise
There’s nothing “charitable” about Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charity” — the awkwardly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation. But, since it is categorized as 501(c)3, Weinstein must publicly file his organization’s tax form each year — though he manages to be almost two years behind. Weinstein has finally released the report for 2018 indicating his MRFF brought in about $720,000 that year, which is about the same as the previous year.
As in prior years, Weinstein’s largest expense was his own paycheck, though this year was a bit unique. Up front, he paid himself $296,393, but he also reported $72,000 in “other reportable compensation.” What that is, specifically, is unknown, as the IRS allows that wording for anything from unused vacation time to a company car. The end result is that the MRFF “compensated” Weinstein to the tune of $368,393. That represents just over 50% of every dollar his organization received in tax-deductible donations.
But wait, there’s more.
After years of this site pointing out discrepancies, Weinstein finally admitted that his MRFF has a financial relationship with MIBON Consulting, LLC — a “company” that he wholly owns. According to his filing, Weinstein says the MRFF, which he founded, “leases office space from MIBON LLC.”
To be clear, Weinstein created a charity, then created a company to lease office space to his own charity.
Officially, the MRFF is located on Central Avenue in Albuquerque — in a UPS store mailbox. MIBON Consulting is based in Mikey Weinstein’s house just around the corner. It’s unclear if MIBON owns other real estate, but Weinstein has also not suggested a need for any, as it seems most MRFF business is conducted from his home office.
Thus, it seems Weinstein created a charity in his home office, then created a company to lease that home office to the charity he’d just created, conveniently generating a source of income with no work or outlay required.
It’s also unclear precisely how much Weinstein pays himself for rent, but the MRFF reports $34,000 in “occupancy” expenses, which this site has previously highlighted. If that represents the “lease”, Mikey’s MRFF would be paying Mikey nearly $3,000 a month to use Mikey’s home office in Albuquerque. That would also bring Weinstein’s total “take” to more than $400,000, or more than 55% of the donations the “charity” receives.
It’s highly unlikely 2018 was the first year Weinstein’s “charity” leased office space from Weinstein’s business — but it was the first year he explicitly admitted to doing so.
But wait, there’s more.
The prior year, Weinstein reported only $4,000 in “other employee benefits”, even though that was the first year Weinstein officially had two employees (one in addition to himself). This year, however, that line of “other” benefits ballooned to $34,000. What for? It’s unclear, as it could be anything from a dental plan to other random perks of employment. But the amount of money going to employee “benefits” increased substantially.
As has been noted before, Weinstein receives tax-deductible charitable donations that pay his salary, accountant, travel expenses, security, and even his phone bill. In other words, not only does he take home a massive paycheck, but the “charity” also seems to act as an expense account for virtually any other thing Weinstein wants to pay for. The MRFF spends almost every cent it receives. (In fact, it was technically in the red for 2018.) Publicly, the MRFF does almost nothing. What in the world could the MRFF be spending all its money on — besides Weinstein and his personal interests?
Think about it: One guy sits in his home office and sometimes emails out press releases. That’s about it. What was he possibly doing — programmatically, in support of his “charitable” mission — that ate up $740,000 in expenses that year?
He’s either really bad with money, or he’s managed to construct a fantastic, and nearly unaccountable, revenue scheme.
In the end, it seems Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has managed to make himself a very wealthy man off other people’s “charity”.
MRFF Compensation to Mikey Weinstein:
2019: Not yet reported.
2020: Not yet reported.