Sunday, April 1, 2018

Doc Dino Dollars - CSE Form 990 Now Available

The Creation Science Evangelism Ministries Inc. Form 990 is finally up on guidestar.  Bob Baty put out the word on Facebook.  Form 990 "Return of  Organization Exempt From Tax" is an informational return.  It is filed with the IRS, but it is a public document.  It is essentially a financial statement with a good amount of supplemental information.  The period covered is calendar year 2016.



Form 990 is due four and half months after the end of the year covered with a six month extension being allowed.  That makes the due date November 15, which is when the return was filed.  It takes a while to get it up on guidestar, so this is about when you would expect it to be available.

The preparer is listed as Brian R Finch CPA of Geneva, AL.  For whatever it is worth the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy shows a Brian Ross Finch holding Certificate Numbe 9331 issued on February 3, 2003.  I was thinking of giving him a call, but it is tax season and I'm busy and he is probably busier.

Some Numbers

Big picture CSE took in $680,103 in contributions and grants.  There were a total of $224,055 in expenses.  The biggest category was computer expense which when combined with "information technology" came to over $42,000.  Next up was over $28,000 in "food for vendors", which struck me as an interesting way of putting it.

$466.798 went into land, building and equipment, which is capitalized rather than expensed leaving only $342 of cash at the end of the year.

The Board

The board consists of President Ernest Land, Secretary Diane Hommel (The famous Lady Di), Treasurer Cody Land, Director Gill Sardi, Direcotr J R Hughes and Pastor Kent Hovind.  There is probably a slip-up in the return, as it shows Ernie working 20 hours per week and the others all at zero. Schedule O disclosure tells us that Cody is Ernie's son.  According to a note at the end of the return the board was emailed the 990 on November 14 and it was filed the next day.

Some Nits to Pick

Given the number of typos that worm their way into my writing I should not go grammar Nazi, but the mission statement\significant activities hits on one of my biggest bugaboos
To educate society on bible creation, and biblical principals.  This purpose was to help generate a better society by teaching these principals.  The teaching includes scientific support of the bible teaching.  (Emphasis added)
I'm pretty sure they mean "principles".

On Page 10 the expenses are supposed to be divided into three categories - Program service - Management and general - Fundraising.  The put everything under program service, which I understand is generally frowned upon.

Schedule A is pretty interesting.  It is where you say why you are not a private foundation.  They chose "church".  Now as it happens, if they do qualify for church status filing Form 990 is optional so you could say they are being extra transparent.  On the other hand, if they had checked Box 7 rather than Box 1, they would have had to give more detail about the contributions, basically indicating how much of the contributions were large donations.

Schedule O at the very end is how we know that Cody is Ernie's son and that the board had little time to review the Form 990.  It also tells us that Ernie owns 100% of the common stock.  I am not used to not for profits have stockholders, but maybe things are different down in Alabama/

The other matter of interest on Schedule O is that Governing documents are available by request to the board of directors.  I don't know if an enterprising Hovindologist will test that.  If you do let me know how it goes.

Not A Bad Job Overall

If you have never dealt with Form 990 before, trust me when I tell you that the nits that I just picked are pretty common.  I don't see anything in here that is inconsistent with Kent Hovind's messaging.

Well, it's nearing one of the high points of tax season, so I am moving on.

Update

Dee Holmes noted that travel expenses were over $60,000 which I somehow missed.  She is a little suspicious about that.  Whether it is high or not depends on how many people travel with Kent. 
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Peter J Reilly has been following the Kent Hovind story for a long time and has not made any money doing so, much as he would be pleased if he did.









5 comments:

  1. Peter, you wrote, in part:

    "I don't see anything in here that is
    inconsistent with Kent Hovind's messaging."

    I do, but I can see how you came to that conclusion. Also, part of the problem(s) I see is that the Form 990 is quite consistent "with Kent's messaging".

    Kent says he spends the money as fast as it comes in, and the Form 990 for 2016 reflects that; though much of the money went into capital assets.

    We still don't know who, allegedly, gave Kent the reported $250,000 to buy the land. At various times that story has been that the land was donated and that the money for the land was given. The Form 990 indicates the money came in and that Kent bought the land, the 145 acre conpound.

    Considering the money laundering aspects of the Hovind case, it would be nice to see the feds "follow the money" on that and other related issues.

    The Form 990 reflects Kent's claim that the organization is a church and Kent has been most recently making that claim and increasing his church-like activities.

    However, I don't believe the organization was granted 501(c)(3) status based on any determination that it was a church.

    If I am correct, what is going on with Kent's attempt to now claim something changed?

    Will Kent ever file another Form 990 claiming he is exempt as a church?

    Kent may have a church, but that doesn't make his business operations (i.e., CSEM, Inc. and the 145 acre conpound) a church or church agency.

    The Form 990 reports no employees, and that is consistent with Kent's "messaging".

    Does he have employees?
    I think so.

    Should Kent Hovind or his corporation be reporting the activities?
    I think Kent should be reporting the activities personally.

    From a personal income tax standpoint, Peter, that over $400,000.00 reported profit would generate a substantial personal income tax liability.

    That amount might be something conventionally compliant taxpayers might consider cause for concern and justify suggesting the feds keep an eye on Kent Hovind and maybe even consider investigating his operation.....again.

    This is not intended to be an exhaustive narrative as to what I might consider worth of note regarding Kent's Form 990.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Overall my impression is that not a lot of deep though went into the 990 prep.

      Whether you could tag Kent with the profit depends on how the property is titled and what Alabama law is regarding the title holding entity. Maybe Dee will look into that.

      Delete
  2. Peter, you also wrote:

    "The other matter of interest on Schedule O
    is that Governing documents are available by
    request to the board of directors. I don't
    know if an enterprising Hovindologist will
    test that. If you do let me know how it goes."

    I figure if Kent & Ernie are now pushing their "church" claim, all that may be irrelevant and they don't have to provide anyone with anything regarding such things.

    But maybe someone will drop by and ask them and even for the 2017 Form 990 and see what they say about handing out that information and if a Form 990 for 2017 is even anything they plan on filing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the normal course the 2017 Form 990 won't be done until November, the extended due date.

      Delete
  3. Peter,

    Just another bit of trivia, but I think it goes to the subject of your article.

    Today, in the "Understanding the Baby Holm Case" FaceBook group, in addition to recent sightings of the Holms being reported from the Heflin, AL area, one of the informed locals has indicated that Kent Hovind's man Brady Byrum, was on location (having been staying at Kent's place near Lenox, AL for some time working on his "Hovind Is Innocent" DVD Series) with the Holms and one of their local promoters, Jonathan Payton, right after the birth of Baby Holm.

    Brady, of course, would go on to help the Holms promoter their sovcit, anti-government, anti-child welfare cause instead of working to get the baby back; and it worked like a charm.

    Brady and the bunch have a lot of secrets about all of that came to be, and the speculation continues as to just how it was the Holms came to be where they were come birthing time and how it was they took the course they did with so many sovcit sorts in tow and helping them display their wares and insure they would never have to parent Baby Holm.

    We may never know.

    Peter, have you ever tried to get Ernie Land, who first, to my knowledge, advised the world that Brady was secretly working to help the Holms and was planning to go nationwide with his anti-child welfare antics, to reveal to you what he really knows about all of that?

    ReplyDelete