Youth Pride tax return raises more questions.
Handwritten form lists members who say they were not involved
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.”
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.
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.