Khloe Kardashian Defends Lamar Odom Against Charity Fraud Claims
Khloe Kardashian is lashing out at claims her hoopster husband Lamar Odom failed to donate money raised through his charity to cancer research. On Monday, the L.A. Clippers star was accused of pocketing money raised through his Cathy’s Kids Foundation.
The organization was set up in 2004 with the intention of raising money for underprivileged kids in Odom’s native New York and Los Angeles as well as for cancer research. Cathy’s Kids was named in honor of Lamar’s late mother, who died of stomach cancer when the future sportsman was just 12.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines insists there’s no evidence that any of the $2.2 million raised through Lamar’s organization actually went to a cancer charity. In fact, the investigation notes that there is about $900,000 in funds missing.
The funds are believed to have financed two elite youth basketball travel teams, with a reported $1.3 million being funnelled into these teams. ESPN also reports that only one executive was on payroll; Jerry DeGregorio, Lamar’s high school coach and best man at his 2008 wedding to Khloe. DeGregorio was secretary of Cathy’s Kids from 2004 through 2011. He was reportedly paid an annual salary of $72,000, while the charity operated at a loss.
Spending money on activities not consistent with a charity’s stated mission could be a violation of tax law, putting Odom at risk for potential fraud charges. Hogwash, says Khloe.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, 28, insists Odom personally donated more than 90% of the money raised by the organization and ensures that all of the money was used for its intended purposes. In a blog posting on Tuesday, the Kardashian wrote:
“It is unfortunate that my husband has been the target of an attack on athletes’ charities, although he has personally contributed approximately $2.2 million to his foundation, Cathy’s Kids, to fulfill its charitable purposes that include helping underprivileged inner-city youth. The millions of dollars personally contributed by Lamar constituted more than 90% of the money raised by the foundation.”
“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. Cathy’s Kids was formed with several purposes in mind, including benefitting underprivileged youth and cancer research. A decision was ultimately made that the charity should focus on one of those purposes â€” to help enrich the lives of underprivileged inner-city youth. It accomplished that goal. Cathy’s Kids helped fund multiple AAU basketball teams providing underprivileged youth with opportunities enriching their lives, providing financial support for coaching and travel to tournaments, helping inner-city youth on a path toward success and leading many participants to go on to college.”
Khloe is a regular advocate of the charity. She regularly posts messages on her website urging fans to “Head on over to my eBay auction site” to bid on clothing, of which “a portion of the proceeds will go to Lamar’s charity, Cathy’s Kids.”