Harvey Weinstein is under investigation in relationship to a charity auction in France ostensibly meant to benefit AIDS patients and research. The mogul had donated a sit-down with a noted fashion photographer and seats for various Hollywood awards, events and parties. But, there was a catch. The first $600,000 raised by the auction by amfAR was to go to a nonprofit theater that had done a trial run of “Finding Neverland,” a Broadway musical that Mr. Weinstein produced.
Now, amfAR board directors are fighting each other over the arrangement that caught the attention of the NY Attorney General, whose name I refuse to mention as much of his prosecutions are political in nature and not evenly applied by the ultra political AG. While it is not clear whether the arrangement was legal or not, it does diminish the credibility of amfAR.
The theater had agreed to reimburse Mr. Weinstein and other investors for a $1.25 million payment and $500,000 charitable contribution toward the show if they could get third parties to donate those amounts, according to records of the arrangement.
Now, amfAR’s board of directors is embroiled in conflict. Some members are questioning the deal involving the auction proceeds, saying that the details were not disclosed and that the organization was not protected.
The New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, is investigating corporate governance at the charity. “Our charities bureau is working with amfAR in connection with a dispute among board members, with the goal of achieving a resolution as expeditiously as possible,” Eric Soufer, a spokesman for Mr. Schneiderman, said in a statement.
If this had been Republicans instead of liberal Democrats the AG’s office would be talking about criminal charges rather than a peaceful resolution. The NY AG went after Trump University accused of taking a couple of million dollars from students but the same office refused to prosecute Laureate University that paid millions to Bill Clinton to front for them as they siphoned off billions an government grants.
The case is now being investigated by the office of the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, since the NY AG doesn’t seem to be interested whether fraud was committed or not.
The office of the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York is examining whether fraud occurred when the money went to a theater that had staged a musical produced by Mr. Weinstein, said the three people, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The fashion designer Kenneth Cole, chairman of the board at the New York-based AIDS charity, amfAR, said the organization received a subpoena last month.
In September, The New York Times revealed details of the transactions and a civil investigation by the New York State attorney general’s office. Two weeks later, The Times reported sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against Mr. Weinstein, who is now the subject of multiple assault investigations in London, Los Angeles and New York City.
Mr. Weinstein’s spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, did not comment on the inquiry, but released a statement on Thursday saying that “over the course of the last 23 years, Mr. Weinstein has helped raise between $30 million and $40 million for amfAR,” adding that he “has personally pledged $1 million to the organization.”
James Margolin, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office, declined to comment.
This is just one more bit of bad news for the alleged serial rapist and abuser movie mogul. It has been rumored that Weinstein has money troubles due to a loan he had taken out, but that has not yet been confirmed.
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