Los Angeles Clippers forward Lamar Odom and his socialite wife Khloé Kardashian are being accused of running a charity scam after an ESPN investigation
revealed Odom's foundation hasn’t donated a cent to cancer research in the nine years it's been operating.
Odom started Cathy's Kids in 2004 after his mother died of stomach cancer.
"It was developed as a means for Lamar to streamline all his charitable efforts and focus on making a positive impact on the lives of under-privileged children, as well as targeting a disease that has played a significant role in his life, cancer," according to Cathy's Kids' mission statement.
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However, it appears that Odom's charity only held up half of that bargain. 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," according to ESPN. Not a dime went to cancer research.
The ESPN investigation also uncovered that money from Cathy's Kids was used to pay Jerry DeGregorio's salary. DeGregorio, now an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, was Odom's high school coach and best man in his 2009 wedding to Kardashian.
"If a charity spends money — including paying someone a salary — on activities not consistent with its stated mission, that could be a violation of tax law that could draw the attention of the IRS or a state attorney general's office to prosecute," writes Paula Lavigne for ESPN.
What's confusing is that Cathy's Kids claims it has been "dormant for years," yet it's still fundraising, according to ESPN. The charity has no official website, and the section of Odom's personal site dedicated to the foundation is shut down.
But Khloé Kardashian is active on eBay, where she's selling her used clothing and accessories "to benefit Cathy's Kids."
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To make matters even trickier, there appears to be a separate eBay page dedicated to Cathy's Kids, but there's no mention there of the goal of raising money for cancer research.
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