Trump lawyer Sekulow directed millions to family with nonprofits: report

Trump lawyer Sekulow directed millions to family with nonprofits: report
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Conservative attorney Jay SekulowJay Alan SekulowHouse Intel to probe whether lawyers for Trump family interfered in investigation Trump attorneys welcome Barr move to investigate Russia probe's origins Giuliani: Trump lawyers saw Mueller report Tuesday as they prepared rebuttal MORE has for years used a network of nonprofit organizations to route payments and property deals to himself and his family, according to a Guardian report published Tuesday.

Sekulow's nonprofit Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) and its sister organization, the American Center for Legal Justice, have paid millions of dollars to the Sekulow family, as well as companies tied to the high-profile attorney.

The payments were first reported by the Legal Times in 2005. 

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For example, according to the Guardian, a law firm co-owned by Sekulow called the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group has received more than $25 million for legal work since 2000.

Another company owned by Sekulow, Regency Productions, was paid $11.3 million by the nonprofits for production services.

Sekulow's public profile has grown in recent weeks after he was hired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE to help him navigate the special counsel and congressional probes into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia. 

The Guardian report also details millions of dollars in personal payments and compensation paid to Sekulow, his wife, his children, his brother, his sister-in-law and his niece and nephew.

Sekulow himself has been paid $3.3 million, while his wife has received $1.2 million for her work as Case's secretary and treasurer.

Since 2000, a company owned by Sekulow's sister-in-law Kim Sekulow has been paid $6.2 million for production services and for the lease of a private jet, which it co-owned with Regency Productions.

Sekulow's brother Gary has also received $9.2 million in benefits and salary from the nonprofits, according to the Guardian, which also reported that his tax filings say he works 40 hours a week for each nonprofit organization.

Nonprofit insiders are prohibited by federal law from receiving "excessive benefit" from their organizations, meaning that payments and benefits cannot exceed fair market value for goods or services.

A spokesman for Sekulow defended the payments, saying that they are "regularly reviewed by outside independent compensation experts" to ensure they are in compliance with the law.

“The financial arrangements between the ACLJ, Case and all related entities are regularly reviewed by outside independent compensation experts and have been determined to be reasonable. In addition, each entity has annual independent outside audits performed by certified public accounting firms. Further, the IRS has previously conducted audits of the ACLJ and Case and found them to be in full compliance of all applicable tax laws,” Sekulow's spokesman Gene Kapp said in a statement to the Guardian.

The interactions between the nonprofits and Sekulow also include property deals, according to the Guardian, which notes one arrangement in which CASE subleased office space from a company owned by Sekulow between 1998 and 2002.

During that time, both CASE and the company listed the same office suite as their headquarters.

Sekulow's wife also took a $245,000 loan out of CASE's funds in 1998 to help pay for a "retreat property" in North Carolina. According to the Guardian, $217,742 of that loan was forgiven and treated as compensation.