Radar Online has got their grubby little mitts on tax documents for the Ian Somerhalder foundation, and now they are accusing The Vampire Diaries actor of committing charity fraud.
The gossip website claims that although the ISF received a staggering $400,072 in 2012, it only gave out one solitary grant to Best Friends Animal Society and Wildlife Rehab for a pitiful $550.
The website then goes onto list the expenditures for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. The figures read as follow;
- $26,000 in salary to employees, and $579 in employee benefits
- $16,692 for lawyers
- $29,680 was spent on accounting.
- $21,000 for office expense and rent
- $20,122 for travel
- $10,079 for insurance
- $7,077 for Paypal Fees
- $152,917 in 'expenses'
Although Radar Online did not go so far to write it, they are clearly implying that Somerhalder has used the expenses to line his own pockets...
It's just a shame they didn't do their research first!
Those of us who are up to date with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation know that one of the main objectives has been to build a huge animal sanctuary from scratch for $5m dollars.
A huge amount has been saved toward this goal over the years, and Ian Somerhalder himself recently revealed that he will use his own personal funds up to a million dollars to purchase the expensive land to make this happen.
In a letter to announce the progress of the animal sanctuary, Somerhalder also helpfully announced where the money donated to the charity goes... Numbers that Radar conveniently did not mention.
$50,000 worth of ISF Animal Medical Emergency Grants have been awarded to the pioneer individuals and rescues healing creatures in need
• Over 20 million unnecessary births have been prevented by our ISF Spay & Neuter Clinic “Missisnippin’”
• Our voice has been heard in Congress when I testified on behalf of endangered wildlife and the threats imposed on them
• Our work together has lead me to becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations so we can coproduce change within our world governments on a global scale
• We have launched the UFactor Program allowing our youth (the greatest natural resource this planet has!) to identify their passions, cultivate their talents and amplify their purpose.
• We granted $5000 to young filmmakers using their talents to evolve our global consciousness at the Girls Impact the World Film Festival
• Campaigns such as Save a Cup, Green Your Thirst, and Plastic Straws Can Suck It have united our college and youth divisions towards eliminating unnecessary waste while Creatures Division campaigns such as #Time4theTalk have generated mass awareness about the crisis facing our pollinators and our interdependent need for their survival
• You have stood up to politicians and companies when you let them know that #CoalSucks and we reached over 300 million impressions and refused to stay silent…
• With your authentic commitment, we are continuously working on launching new programs too such as the UFactor Project Grants enabling youth to create change and the ISF Classroom Grants empowering teachers to awaken, educate and inspire kids in classrooms everywhere. We are now giving students the opportunity to deviate out of tired, redundant curriculums and tackle causes that matter to them while providing society with the tools to transform the leadership of today’s youth
Although some might utter that campaigns are not a great way to spend charity money, Ian Somerhalder clearly has the huge social media presence to make these leaps of faith worthwhile.
It's debatable whether Ian Somerhalder really needs to have his own charity, or to build his own animal sanctuary to do good, but there is no denying his starpower. Anything with Somerhalder's name stamped on it is much more likely to receive boat loads of fan donations than the sad, unglamorous ASPCA shelter down the road.
It's hard to engage young people and teenagers with ethics and environmental issues, but Somerhalder's celebrity credentials are doing just that.
Are his finances as carefully managed as huge international charities? Probably not. But, is he committing fraud? I highly doubt it.