Newsvine and I were honored on June 13, 2015 at the Society of Professional Journalist’s (SPJ) awards gala after being awarded third place for the Investigative category, Daily Print and Online Newspapers, small size with a staff of 15 or less. The Northwest Excellence in Journalism competition is held annually to honor exceptional journalism from SPJ Region Ten, covering Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
This is my third SPJ award for investigating nonprofit corruption with a specific focus on the Shriners.
I also won two in college.
The Daily Herald won third place for medium staff. The Oregonian won third place for large staff. All winners here.
Here is an explanation of my winning entry.
A summary of the story or stories. This entry consists of three articles. The Reveal Part 1: PermaDerm™ Smoking Gun, IRS Hearings was published on August 12, 2014. The Reveal Part 2: Problems with PermaDerm™ was published on September 4, 2014. The Reveal Part 3: PermaDerm's Smoking Gun was published on September 18, 2014. Part 1 provides context. Part 2 lists FDA violations and audit findings. Part 3 identifies the fraud. These articles expose the attempted commercialization of a burn treatment made from a patient’s own skin. This cultured skin substitute, known as PermaDerm™, was developed through a clinical research study sponsored by the University of Cincinnati (UC) and conducted at Shriners Hospital for Children (SHC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Researchers tried for 20 years to grow a piece of the patient’s own skin from credit card size into typing paper-sized sheets to graft onto their own burn wounds. The FDA found so many problems in a “for cause” inspection; the agency shut the study down. After the FDA shut the study down, an audit was ordered. The year-long audit showed that the data, or serious lack thereof, from 150-burned children, violated so many FDA rules and regulations, it was virtually useless, putting FDA approval out of reach. Then, the University of Cincinnati and the Shriners somehow became part of the U.S. Army’s regenerative medicine program (AFIRM). Though the study had been shut down, AFIRM then funded a $1.3 million grant and an $18 million contract to hasten the commercialization of PermaDerm™ for burned soldiers. The smoking gun is that the AFIRM grant and contract applications are based on two ineligible patients with specific FDA violations called out in the audit.
A discussion of major findings and subsequent results. These articles “reveal” the PermaDerm™ scandal as the worst out of five cases of nonprofit fraud, waste and abuse. It appears that a biologist worked on a study at Shriner’s hospital to develop a product for burn patients. He sold this technology and worked towards a bio-pharma company landing an $18 million DoD contract to manufacture PermaDerm™ though the FDA shut his study down. Any future impact depends on which federal agencies will act and/or prosecute for undisclosed conflict of interest, possible research fraud, financial crimes or insider trading.
A review of the process followed to get the story, including information about the circumstances that prompted the story; the length of time taken to report, write, and edit; and sources and references used. This is part of a nine-year investigation into the Shriners after a whistleblower and former IRS agent contacted me in April 2006 to investigate irregular tax returns. A year later, I found one sentence in the FDA News that read, “In another warning letter, Richard Kagan, chief of staff for burns at Cincinnati Shriners Hospital, was cited for failing to report and accurately document unanticipated adverse device effects and anticipated adverse events to the sponsor and the institutional review board.” These three articles took three months to write based on eight years of research. Sources include reports from the Office of Human Research Protection, the University of Cincinnati, and the FDA; filings submitted to the Security and Exchange Commission, the DoD AFIRM program and the Patent Office; papers written by bio-ethics and pediatric bio-ethics experts.
An account of the difficulty or uniqueness of effort in obtaining the story. There were steep learning curves about FDA rules and regulations, pediatric bioethics and clinical research studies. I then understood these subjects and documents well enough to explain them to readers. Documents included reports, applications and other submissions to the FDA, SEC, NIH and DoD as well as the audit ordered by the FDA. Then, in May 2013, I had a cervical fusion surgery go wrong. The anesthesiologist put me out, could not intubate me and had to call his partner. MRIs showed six to eight mini strokes that left me cognitively impaired with loss of memory and executive function. It took me 15 months to recover to the point that I could start back to work. My typing speed is down to about 19 words a minute. Even today, there are times when I can’t type at all. I revisited my digital and paper files to remember what I’d found. I had problems using a calculator to double check that my percentages and basic math calculations were correct so we can follow the money. PermaDerm™ sells for $55 a square centimeter. Dr. Richard Kagan, chief of staff at Shriners’ burn hospital Cincinnati and primary investigator for the PermaDerm™ study, got a Warning Letter from the FDA on January 12, 2007. Then the FDA shut the study down. Kagan co-wrote a White Paper in 2009 for the American Burn Association that specified cultured skin substitutes for their own insurance codes. The Shriners previously offered free medical care to needy burned and crippled children but now take insurance. Kagan’s paper establishes PermaDerm™ per patient at 3500 square centimeters and 2700 square centimeters for torso and arm grafts. PermaDerm™ costs $341,000 per patient. The FDA offers limited approvals for specific populations. The FDA Humanitarian Device Exemption (HUD) allows an experimental treatment for 4,000 patients. If the FDA approved PermaDerm™ for HUD exemption, this would mean $1.36 billion for the handful pushing for approval based on fraudulent applications. All previous articles as well as these three entry articles remain unchallenged.
So why is any of this important? Because a nonprofit hospital has been working with burn specialists to create a skin substitute that, with the proper insurance codes, multiplied by the limited FDA Orphan Status of 200,000 patients, means $68 billion for someone.
Or a handful of someones.
This award is for tracking, explaining and producing the smoking gun that invalidates the DoD AFIRM contract to develop PermaDerm ™.
What have I found since?
The Accounting Branch Chief of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, John Cash, sent a letter on March 23, 2011 to Regenicin, a company involved with obtaining FDA approval for PermaDerm ™. Regenicin’s Form 10-K for Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2010 and Form 10-Q for Fiscal Quarter Ended December 31, 2010 led SEC accountants to call for more disclosure so investors could make informed decisions.
Red flags wave wildly within Regenicin’s responses.
For example, Regenicin’s CEO disclosed in one 8K, “Bridge Notes” means “the 5% senior secured convertible promissory notes of Vectoris Pharma LLC issued in connection with the Transactions contemplated hereby and assumed by the Company incident to the Lonza Transaction.” Where is the disclosure that he is also Vectoris? He disclosed this to the NJ Secretary of State. Search businesses. You’ll find it.
This same 8K defines “Advisor” as Broadsmoore Financial Group, LLC.
“Company Counsel” and “Escrow Agent” are defined as “Cane Clark LLP.”
Kyleen Cane and the CEO of the Broadsmoore Group, Abraxas J. Discala, with five others, were indicted on July 17, 2014, for a $300 million pump and dump scheme.
Current US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch oversaw the prosecution of this indictment until her promotion on April 27, 2015. According to this Daily News article, then Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said “They took companies with essentially no assets or activity and deceived the market into believing they were worth millions.”
Back to the SEC and Regenicin who also disclosed that “The Company believes it has adequate data from the child studies to demonstrate the product is safe…The Company is far into the approval process.”
The SEC then pressures Regenicin by writing “We note your response to prior comment two, from our letter dated May 11, 2011; however, it appears that you were not completely responsive to our previous comment. In this regard, please revise future filings to also explain your estimated costs for each stage in obtaining FDA approval. Please show us in your response what your disclosure will look like.”
Regenicin replies “The Company believes that there is sufficient data from the 100+ patients already studied to satisfy the FDA that the product is safe, so no further expenses will be required on that front…Collect and assemble the safety and efficacy data that it has from the previous 100+ patients and the current manufacturing process at Lonza and submit what is called a BLA Orphan application.”
Should Regenicin have disclosed that this “data” was from the failed Shriner study?
Regenicin CEO Randall McCoy told the SEC on April 11, 2011 about the AFIRM contract thusly:
The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded to Lonza more than $16.9 million in funding for the development and commercialization of PermaDermTM for the treatment of severe burns among U.S. troops and civilians. PermaDermTM has already been used to treat more than 150 pediatric catastrophic burn victims through an Investigation Device Exemption (IDE) issued by the FDA. Management believes that there has been enough data captured in this catastrophic burns group to pursue Orphan product approval. Submission for approval will take place in the near future when we are able to include the data.
This IDE is the same suspended by the FDA.
Where is the disclosure that the study on the 150 pediatric patients was suspended?
The Morley audit had lots to say about the lack of disclosure throughout the PermaDerm ™ study. The audit also disclosed inconsistencies with Boyce reporting adverse events.
From the audit, “II.4.2. Adverse Events: Dr Boyce reported only ten UADE’s. The FDA sent a warning letter on January 12, 2007 and noted that there had been previously identified failure to report and accurately document unanticipated and anticipated adverse device events to the sponsor and the reviewing IRB which violates 21 CFR 812.140(a)(3)(ii)- All relevant observations, including records concerning adverse device effects (whether anticipated or unanticipated), information and data on the condition of each subject upon entering, and during the course of, the investigation, including information about relevant previous medical history and the results of all diagnostic tests; CFR 812.150.(a)(1)- Unanticipated adverse device effects. An investigator shall submit to the sponsor and to the reviewing IRB a report of any unanticipated adverse device effect occurring during an investigation as soon as possible, but in no event later than 10 working days after the investigator first learns of the effect. The annual report for 2006 was not sent to FDA until February 12, 2007 which was a month after the warning letter had been issued to the site. Dr. Boyce continued to disregard the FDAs warning regarding the report of unanticipated and anticipated adverse device events. The auditors’ database recorded 1,455 adverse events during the period of this annual report, of which as stated above, 10 were noted by Dr. Boyce… Neither the site or the sponsor seems to understand the FDA’s constant notifications (Warning letter of January 12, 2007 or the Integrity Hold letter of February 2, 2007) in addition to the warning letter issued to the Sacramento site in March of 2006, regarding the failure to report and accurately document unanticipated and anticipated adverse device events. The third party audit has identified 695 adverse events and the site/sponsor reported eight (8) for the year 2007. The adverse events reported for 2008 were 36 UADE reports by Dr. Boyce, whereas the auditors recorded 760 events.”
It was also noted that Boyce was making unauthorized presentations to the military about PermaDerm ™. According to the audit, “Dr. Boyce delivered an oral presentation at the Army Science Conference on December 8, 2008. This appears to be in conflict with CFR 812.7 (d)- Represent that an investigational device is safe or effective for the purposes for which it is being investigated. “These results demonstrate that ESS (engineered skin substitute) reduce requirements for donor skin harvesting for grafting of excised, full-thickness burns involving most of the TBSA.‖ In section ll.1 Summary of Study of this same annual report it states ― The objective of the quantitative data is to determine whether treatment of full-thickness burns with cultured skin substitutes reduces the requirements for harvesting of split-thickness skin autograft.‖ It is uncertain why a definitive statement was made when this cultured/engineered skin is still being studied and specifically why this presentation was made while the study was on an Integrity Hold. The initial statement referred to at the beginning of this paragraph is repeated in the Conclusions section of the presentation.”
Disclosure problems began as early as November 21, 2002, when Boyce got a letter from the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) because a pregnant woman had been enrolled in the study, which is against the rules. Then the OHRP wrote about an unproven allegation that a parent had been rushed and pressured into signing consent forms. The third unproven allegation was that investigators continued research on a girl after her family “withdrew permission for her participation in the research.”
From the OHRP letter:
(4) OHRP notes the following regarding Protocol # 91-02-20-4: (a) The IRB-approved protocol stated “The proposed research is aimed at demonstrating that a 5% Sulfamylon solution (Mafenide acetate) is a safe and effective alternative for antimicrobial therapy in the pediatric and adult burn population.” (b) The IRB-approved informed consent document stated “I understand that the following alternative procedures or courses of treatment are available that might be advantageous to me: Established treatment with other antibiotics in solution, which may not control infection as well as the study drug.” [Emphasis added] Since the stated purpose of the protocol was to evaluate the effectiveness of Sulfamylon solution, the above statement from the IRB-approved informed consent document may have inflated the potential benefits to the subjects. Please forward your response to the above required action so that OHRP receives it no later than January 10, 2003.”
I’ll leave it to Diane Dean Director, Division of Grants Compliance and Oversight, OPERA, OER and Kathy Hancock, Assistant Grants Compliance Officer, Division of Grants Compliance and Oversight, OPERA, OER, to sort out Boyce’s problems with the antibacterial solution.
Others might raise an eyebrow after Regenicin filed “Confidential” documents to satisfy the SEC’s request for more disclosure. The filing can be found here.
One of these documents is a Settlement agreement that lists stockholders of Cutanogen, the company formed by biologist and PermaDerm ™ inventor, Steven Boyce, PhD.
We are now shifting from issues of disclosure to conflict of interest.
One of the most important things in clinical research is disclosing conflict of interest. An informed consent document is supposed to list conflicts of interest that could affect a patient’s decision to participate in a clinical study. This page from the University of Cincinnati provides related Federal Regulations for the Public Health Service (PHS). This page “Financial Conflict of Interest” is provided by the National Institutes of Health.
Federal regulations state:
(ii)(A) In addition, whenever a financial conflict of interest is not identified or managed in a timely manner including failure by the Investigator to disclose a significant financial interest that is determined by the Institution to constitute a financial conflict of interest; failure by the Institution to review or manage such a financial conflict of interest; or failure by the Investigator to comply with a financial conflict of interest management plan, the Institution shall, within 120 days of the Institution's determination of noncompliance, complete a retrospective review of the Investigator's activities and the PHS-funded research project to determine whether any PHS-funded research, or portion thereof, conducted during the time period of the noncompliance, was biased in the design, conduct, or reporting of such research.
Back to the disclosures.
The confidential type?
This Settlement Agreement lists stockholders of Cutanogen, Boyce’s company. A cursory Googling of these shareholders found the following.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, Shriners Hospitals for Children , Cutanogen Corporation, the Shareholders and Cambrex Bio Science Walkersville, Inc. , have executed this Settlement Agreement and Release as of the Effective Date.
Shriners Hospitals for Children
By: /s/Ralph W Semb
By: /s/Steven T Boyce
Cambrex Bio Science Walkersville, Inc.
By: /s/Shawn P. Cavanagh
Its: Senior Vice President
[COUNTERPART SIGNATURE PAGE TO THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND RELEASE]
/s/ Peter Amstein
/s/ Steven T. Boyce, Founder, Cutanogen. Investigator PermaDerm ™
/s/ Edward J. Carl
/s/ Kevin J. Eastace
/s/ Carl G. Fischer, Jr.
/s/ Patricia B. Goodman
/s/ Ken Green
/s/ Jay Hay
/s/ Erna Hoffberger
/s/ Richard J. Kagan, Chief of Staff, Shriners’ Burn Hospital
/s/ Lisa Kagan
/s/ Albert L. Klosterman
/s/ Jack W. Martz
/s/ John E. McCall, Director, Anesthesiology, Shriners Burn Hospital Cincinnati
/s/ Tony L. Shipley, Board of Trustees, University of Cincinnati Foundation, Business Advisory Council for the Carl H. Linder College of Business, University of Cincinnati
/s/ Kevin Yakuboff, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon on the Medical Staff of Shriners Hospitals for Children-Cincinnati Burns Hospital
/s/ Mark J. Buch, President Cutanogen
/s/ Glenn D. Warden, Medical Director, Cutanogen, Cincinnati, Ohio, President and CEO US Tissue and Cell, Cincinnati, Ohio, Vice Chairman Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, US Army Institute of Surgical Research (Army Burn Center), Professor of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Department of Surgery
/s/ William T. Nuerge
THE EBTC Foundation registered w/the IRS but no reports. Columbus Ohio 11000 Cedar Ave Ste 100 Cleveland OH 44106 USA, EIN 34-1810536
/s/ President & Chairman
This New York Times article reported that Ralph Semb was the target of an internal Shriner investigation. From the article:
“Most of the committee’s report relates to the dismissal and rehiring of Mr. McGonigal, who said he did not hire the direct-mail company favored by Mr. Semb and Mr. Bracewell because the company appeared to have ties with Vantage Financial Services, which had performed poorly for the Shriners in the past. The Shriners employed Vantage to handle fund-raising for the hospitals from 1999 through 2003. Out of $46.2 million raised by Vantage, the Shrine received only $2.5 million, according to the report.”
According to the 211 page Morley Research Foundation (MRF) audit concerned with the Shriners’ Burn Hospital in Cincinnati:
The Cincinnati Shriners Hospital provided MRF auditors with a copy of Shriners SOPs as they pertain to research. The copies supplied to MRF had an adopted date of l/5/2006 however none were signed as approved by anyone. There were some Shriners Review of documents noted but it was not consistently reviewed by Shriners each year in regard to the informed consent process as outlined in Shriners SOPs. According to the Shriners SOPs the informed consent form was to receive approval by the Corporate Office of the Director of Research Programs and then was to be followed by the IRB approval of that informed consent form. Per Shriners SOPs Revising an Informed Consent Form standard operating procedures state that revisions are necessary when the protocol is modified, new risk to subjects are identified … The Cincinnati Shriners research staff did not follow their own SOPs as none of the CSS subjects were ever re-consented. The SOP that pertains to Responsibilities of the Research Team number 13 relate to the disclosure to the IRB, SHC, sponsor, and/or subjects of all potential Conflicts of Interest of Research Team members (financial, etc.). This is addressed in detail in the report on Annual Reports.
Why would Ralph Semb, as Shriners’ President, knowingly sign a Settlement Agreement with hospital employees who are also shareholders of Boyce’s company? Wouldn’t it be his job to make sure that all signed and submitted Conflict of Interest statements so everyone followed the Shriners Code of Ethics? This current version of the Shriners Code of Ethics covers those named above and all others associated with the Shriners Hospitals including Boards of Directors and Trustees of Shriners Hospitals for Children. They “have adopted and endorsed a Corporate Compliance Program.” All are supposed to “Give notice, in a manner consistent with the Regulations and as otherwise may be reasonable, of any duality of interest or possible conflict of interest and make it a matter of record; give notice of any direct or indirect interest in an individual or organization which is proposing or is involved in a transaction with the Hospital; give notice of any duality of interest or possible conflict of interest that affects or could affect safety or quality of care, treatment, or services; and, thereafter, refrain from voting on the matter or transaction or otherwise attempting to exert influence over the matter or transaction.”
Finally, are there any victims? The saddest of all are the faithful Shriners, like whistleblowers Vernon Hill, Bill Young and Johnny Edwards who were used as a front for all this. The 150 burned children, were they victimized by the Shriners’ study? Are the very documents designed to protect them, the Informed Consents, invalid due to the investigator's and hospital staff's lack of disclosure of conflict of interest? Regenicin sued former President Joe Connell. Court documents in the federal Pacer system provide an inside look at Randall McCoy, up close and personal, as he sued and got rid of Connell, his former partner of 7 years. Could this be considered victimization or retaliation for Connell asking for his fair share? Something else for the SEC accountants and other investigators to sort out?
Winding this news part up, let’s ask the following.
Would any of these discrepancies interest the SEC again? Would Regenicin’s latest 10Q, filed on May 20, 2015. interest the SEC Accounting Office again? Regenicin told the SEC in this latest 10Q that “We intend to use some of the proceeds from the Asset Purchase Agreement with Amarantus to develop and commercialize a new cultured skin substitute, NovaDerm™. We began developing this unique cultured skin substitute in 2013 and expect it to be valuable as a biologic in the treatment of burn victims.” This statement is also curious “Based upon that evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer concluded that, as of March 31, 2015, our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective due to the presence of material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting.”
Maybe the Ohio doctor’s board might want to look at Dr. Kagan’s wheelings and dealings? And the NIH might want to review both Kagan’s and Boyce’s Conflict of interest disclosures? The AMA might want to look at Shriner doctor/shareholders to make sure they followed disclosure and ethics guidelines? The IRS and SEC might want to check and see if these doctors and any of the Cincinnati Burn Hospitals staff and/or Ralph Semb and/or anyone else affiliated with PermaDerm’s development bought Regenicin stock?
OK. So, here’s the “Thank You” part. Two years ago on May 31, 2015, I badly needed neck surgery because a disc was squished flat and was pushing on and twisting my spinal cord. It went all wrong. The anesthesiologist put me out but could not get the breathing tube down my throat. He had to call his partner to come help. A MRI showed that I had mini strokes, about 7 I think. I was left cognitively impaired with loss of both memory and executive function. Like in the beginning of Alzheimers. Or Dementia. Our son Offey looked at me one day soon after things went wrong and asked “Where did my Mommy go?”. Eventually he got back to normal when he’d tease me about my stttuutttter. There were times when my sister Lorrie would call to check on me and my stutter would be so bad I could not talk. A shout out to Offey’s then girlfriend and now wife Katie Ann who also did all she could to help.
Everyone decided my only job was to be happy.
My huzby of 33 years, Keith, never faltered. Never missed a step. His whole life became helping me recover. Even still today, two years later.
Que “Wind Beneath My Wings” by the Divine Miss M.
Thank you to my BFFs.
Thank you to the Society of Professional Journalists, especially to current president, Dana Neuts. She was President of the Western Washington Pro chapter when I joined the board. We all worked very hard to put on a Diversity Day at Seattle University. She allowed me to create a Diversity Resource on our chapter’s site. All our hard work won us three Best Pro Chapter three years in a row. Then we went on to win the 2008 - 2009 Circle of Excellence Award for Large Chapter for our “outstanding contributions and excellence in the area of Diversity. I then went on to be named a SPJ Diversity Fellow in 2011. Dana is not from a newsroom now. She is, like me, freelance. Independent. She has done more for us independents than anyone before.
Thanks also to Mike Fancher for his random shout out at our 2009 SPJ awards gala. I sat next to him at the head table for some reason and jabbered his ear off. When the going gets tough, the tough Fanch up and get all Zen about it. Thanks for inviting me to Journalism that Matters because it does.
I also want to thank the medical staff at the Puyallup Tribal Health Center. After I realized I could no longer do my investigative work the way I used to could, I became extremely despondent. I made a call, went to the tribal health center and within minutes, my room was filled with my healthcare team. I started on two or three antidepressants and immediately went to see the psychiatric MD for extensive analysis to fine tune which drugs would help me the most.
I decided in early November, 2013, about six months after things went wrong, that I’d learn about NFL football.
I’ve not told this story until now. I wanted to send cards to the guys, the Seahawks, to tell them this story. And Paul Allen.
And Coach Pete. According to 24/7 Sports, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has been named one of four recipients of a Stuart Scott Enspire Award, given to those who "take risks and use innovation to help the disadvantaged."
"Pete Carroll is committed to helping people be the best they can be on and off the field," writes Teri Couch of ESPN."Carroll works to identify what is unique about each person, understand and help them create a vision for what they want to be and then keep them connected to that vision. It is in this approach that has led to life-changing impact. “
Such is the case with me.
Now the cat’s out of the bag.
The neurologist told me on Nov. 10, 2013, there was nothing anyone could do.
I was going to be super messed up forever.
On the way out I grumbled, “Fuck you.”
A few days later, I looked at my huzby and announced that I would start to learn NFL football to help my brain heal. I was going to consciously provide a challenging environment for my brain since I love sports anyway. I would also work hard on a “happy” body chemistry.
My idea was to be happy and have a positive outlook as I studied the Seahawks so my broken synapses could rewire themselves.
My huzby and I watched “football words” every morning. Tony Ventrella is the shit. I also really like Aaron Levine of 13 FOX. His editorial on the U.S Open was perfect. And then there is the inspiring Jen Mueller at ROOT. I bought her book “Talk Sporty To Me” for our Granddaughter’s 15th birthday. And I got a copy, though it’s hard for me to read books. I’ve started Jen’s book and highly recommend it.
I am very proud to report on a shopping trip with our Granddaughter to the Mall. We searched for the perfect Richard Sherman shirt for her. My first Seahawk shirt was Sherman’s “You Mad Bro?” shirt. I now wear an Earl Thomas jersey. Next is a Doug Baldwin jersey. All these guys are like miracles in their own right. Marshawn Lynch too. They have all inspired me to keep fighting. To keep learning.
Russell Wilson inspires me just because we share the same November 29 birthdate. Russell’s mantra “It’s all in the preparation” applies to investigative journalism too.
I printed out offensive and defensive charts and wrote the Seahawk’s name next to his position. Then I’d read about each position, which Seahawk played it, who the backup was and, one of my favorite parts, the stats.
Prior to each game, I tried to diagram the “other guys.” I did a little extra research prior to the NFC Championship game with the Niners.
Heh. That Richard Sherman deflection to Malcom Smith was perfect, as was Sherman’s rant to Erin Andrews.
My huzby and I spent hours watching every interview from the V-Mac. Everything from FOX, ROOT and Seahawks.com.
I contend that the attitude of winning all the way to the Super Bowl helped me recover exponentially. Living that winning feeling. Working to get that body chemistry of being happy. Being mindful. Being grateful. And mostly, having fun!!
I credit much of my digging to my Badger animal spirit. And Beaver for being a workaholic. I am an original shareholder of Ahtna, Inc, an Alaska Native corporation. I’m also a Navy vet, an electronics tech who fixed crypto gear in our “Hunt for Red October” sub-tracking HQ. This investigation has been like being on a trail, following without question, paying attention to synchronicity and obeying my intuition. I followed signs, like hunting. I’ve spent over a decade studying documents, old contracts and audits that point to the worst nonprofit fraud of our time; the PermaDerm™ scandal.
So, here we are, at the end of my award announcement.
This would be so much better if there was sex sprinkled in, right?
Sorry the sex is a mix of horny old geriatric Viagra-popping pimps organizing weekend prostitution parties and more horny old guys “fishing” in Brazil for girls over 13.
All of us taxpayers subsidize these corruptions. The Royal Order of Jesters write off their party expenses. They tried to get a property tax write off but failed to prove their “museum” met charitable guidelines. The Jesters lost this case and must report it to the IRS. Tax returns, available through Guidestar, show that Jester executive director Ed Wolfe has yet to tell the IRS about losing their appeal for property tax exemption.
The nonprofit thread runs from those FreeMasons who become Shriners, who are then secretly asked to join the Royal Order of Jesters. All are nonprofit, with both fraternal 501c10 and charitable 501c3 designations. Four of the five nonprofit corruption cases I’ve investigated started with the Shriners, then on to the Jesters and those members convicted of sex crimes.
The fifth case of nonprofit corruption involves a group of retired CIA spies. More like a knife fight in a phone booth than investigative journalism. You can read about an officer using nonprofit resources for private benefit here.
Though my work won this award, I present these five cases of nonprofit corruption with gratitude to all who are interested. There is so, so much wrong here. Too many secrets. Prostitution. Human trafficking. Child sex tourism. Sloppy clinical research. Alleged DoD fraud. False statements made to the SEC. Associated indictments. Issues of pediatric bio-ethics. Conflict of interest. Possible insider trading. Lack of IRB oversight. Possible misuse of charitable donations.
You are the answer.
Thanks for being here and letting me share this award with you.