Youth Pride tax re­turn raises more ques­tions.

Hand­writ­ten form lists mem­bers who say they were not in­volved

GA Voice - - News - By Dyana Bagby and Laura-dou­glas Brown dbagby@the­

The most re­cent tax re­turn for YouthPride lists board mem­bers who say they were not in­volved with the group at the time, echo­ing on­go­ing ques­tions about lead­er­ship and accountability at the At­lanta-based LGBT youth agency.

The hand­writ­ten tax re­turn, which is rid­dled with crossed-out num­bers, is for the YouthPride fis­cal year that be­gan Oct. 1, 2010, and ended Sept. 30, 2011.

The re­turn was stamped re­ceived by the IRS on Sept. 18, 2012. It was filed by YouthPride Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Ter­ence McPhaul, who dated his sig­na­ture May 30, 2012.

The re­turn lists 11 YouthPride board mem­bers: Jor­dan My­ers (pres­i­dent), Frances Ann Mo­ran (vice pres­i­dent), Jamie Ens­ley (trea­surer), Randy New, Sarah Berlin, Tim Bright, Tyler Coon, Seth Persily, Marlys Bergstrom, Theresa Wil­lis and Bran­don Old­ham (sec­re­tary).

The tax re­turn re­ports there were 11 vot­ing mem­bers of the gov­ern­ing body at the end of the fis­cal year (Sept. 30, 2011). McPhaul also checked “yes” that all mem­bers of the gov­ern­ing body re­ceived a com­plete copy of the 990 be­fore he filed it.

But Ens­ley, Persily and Mo­ran con­firmed to GA Voice that they were not mem­bers of the board at the time and they had not seen the re­turn be­fore it was filed.

“Dur­ing the fis­cal pe­riod 10/1/10 through 9/30/11, I was no longer a board mem­ber nor YouthPride’s trea­surer,” Ens­ley said.

“Fur­ther­more, af­ter re­view­ing this re­turn, if I had been trea­surer, I would have never submitted nor ap­proved send­ing a 990 tax re­turn to the IRS that was this messy and lizard-butt ugly,” Ens­ley added, not­ing that he re­mains will­ing to help YouthPride on an in­for­mal ba­sis.

Persily said he left the YouthPride board in May 2009 when he and his part­ner be­came the fa­thers of twins.

Mo­ran said she left the board in April 2011 when she moved to North Carolina.

Old­ham stated in an email last year that he served on the board start­ing around 2009 through mid 2011 when he moved to Aus­tralia.

New, who was on the board for the fis­cal year that ended in Septem­ber 2011, said this week he had not seen the re­turn and added he was sur­prised YouthPride filed a tax re­turn in the first place, be­cause he be­lieved the or­ga­ni­za­tion to be closed.

“I wasn’t aware there would be, or even hy­po­thet­i­cally could be, a YouthPride tax re­turn when there is pre­sum­ably no such or­ga­ni­za­tion,” New said. “I am how­ever cer­tain my name shouldn’t ap­pear on any page of any such re­turn.”

Pub­lic records show that YouthPride’s last cor­po­rate fil­ing with the Ge­or­gia Sec­re­tary of State was in April 2012. YouthPride’s record with the state still lists CEO Jor­dan My­ers, CFO Jamie Ens­ley and Sec­re­tary Bran­don Old­ham — although nei­ther Ens­ley nor Old­ham were still in­volved in April 2012.

McPhaul has re­peat­edly de­nied re­quests for in­ter­views about the cur­rent sta­tus of YouthPride, most re­cently stat­ing that in­ter­views must go to cur­rent Board Chair Theresa Wil­lis.

The web­site for YouthPride now lists as board mem­bers: Wil­lis, My­ers, Tracee McDaniel and an un­filled youth mem­ber seat. My­ers has not re­turned re­quests for com­ment in al­most a year.

Re­quests for com­ment about the 2011 tax re­turn sent via email to McPhaul, Wil­lis, My­ers and McDaniel went unan­swered.

In De­cem­ber, Wil­lis de­clined to say who was on the YouthPride board and told GA Voice she would give an in­ter­view in Fe­bru­ary, “af­ter the hol­i­days.”

On­go­ing ques­tions

Ques­tions over who serves on YouthPride’s board, and whether the or­ga­ni­za­tion is in com­pli­ance with its by­laws that re­quire a five-mem­ber board, have lin­gered since GA Voice be­gan ask­ing about YouthPride’s lead­er­ship in the wake of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s des­per­ate plea for funds in late 2011.

The re­turn was filed us­ing YouthPride’s new ad­dress of 955 Washington Place SW, At­lanta, GA 30314. The agency was forced to move in 2012 af­ter it was sued for un­paid rent at its former home in In­man Park. YouthPride closed June 1 and re­opened June 17 at the house on Washington Place.

YouthPride’s move capped months of ques­tions about the fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and lead­er­ship of the agency which be­gan in De­cem­ber 2011, when then-Board Chair Jor­dan My­ers posted Dec. 9 on Face­book that YouthPride needed to raise $25,000 in one week to re­main open.

McPhaul then said Dec. 16, 2011, that YouthPride had to raise $40,000 by Dec. 31, but the agency re­mained open af­ter that date passed.

Sub­se­quent ques­tions from GA Voice re­vealed the or­ga­ni­za­tion was op­er­at­ing with­out the five-mem­ber board re­quired in its by­laws and had not held a board meet­ing since De­cem­ber 2010.

The list of board mem­bers on YouthPride’s web­site was also re­vised at least three times early last year, each af­ter GA Voice con­tacted board mem­bers who were listed but said they were no longer in­volved.

Fol­low­ing GA Voice’s cov­er­age, an in­de­pen­dent, ad-hoc com­mit­tee formed to try to help eval­u­ate YouthPride’s fi­nan­cial sta­tus. The com­mit­tee de­ter­mined the agency was deep in debt.

While McPhaul will not an­swer ques­tions from GA Voice about YouthPride, its web­site lists drop-in hours and a se­ries of dis­cus­sion groups, as well as a plea for more do­na­tions and other needs.

Fi­nan­cial as­sets

The 2011 YouthPride tax re­turn filed by McPhaul is writ­ten by hand and filled with crossed out num­bers — start­ing with the top of the form it­self, where McPhaul sim­ply crossed out the date on a 2010 form and wrote in 2011.

The form re­ports that YouthPride re­ceived a to­tal of $1,286,099 in “to­tal sup­port” for the last five fis­cal years: $267,223 in 2007; $299,433 in 2008; $217,815 in 2009; $301,628 in 2010; and $200,000 in 2011.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­turn, YouthPride had net as­sets of $208,927 at the be­gin­ning of the cur­rent fis­cal year — so as of Oct. 1, 2010.

That fig­ure in­cluded $26,440 in cash, $141,375 in pledges and grants re­ceiv­able, and $46,112 in “land, build­ings and equip­ment.” The agency also owed $5,000 in a note.

The re­turn says YouthPride re­ceived $301,638 in “to­tal rev­enue” over the next 12 months, with $213,122 in “to­tal ex­penses.”

The re­turn lists only $35,505 in net as­sets at the end of the fis­cal year — so as of Sept. 30, 2011. The agency lists only $2,505 in cash at the end of the 2011 fis­cal year.

YouthPride be­gan its pub­lic pleas for fund­ing less than three months later.

Top: YouthPride Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Ter­ence McPhaul filed the agency’s 2011 tax re­turn in May 2012. The hand­writ­ten form (above) stated YouthPride re­ceived a to­tal of $1,286,099 in ‘to­tal sup­port’ for the last five fis­cal years.

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