Edmond Sports Marketing Agent Sentenced to 15 Months for Tax Fraud Through Non-Profit
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – WILLIAM G. HORN, of Edmond, Oklahoma, was sentenced today to fifteen months in federal prison for making false statements on federal tax returns for The Tommie Harris Foundation, a non-profit corporation, announced Mark A. Yancey, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
According to charges filed on September 6, 2017, Horn was a sports marketing agent who operated charitable organizations associated with NFL and NBA athletes. He registered one of these, The Tommie Harris Foundation, with the Oklahoma Secretary of State in late 2006 and used his home as the Foundation’s principal office. Horn sought and received tax-exempt status from the IRS under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. He personally solicited donations for the Foundation, which held an annual celebrity golf event to raise money for those in need. He also managed the Foundation’s finances and filed its Forms 990, which are federal tax returns for tax-exempt organizations. According to the charges, Horn signed and filed Forms 990 for the Foundation for tax years 2007 through 2012. During those years, the Foundation was alleged to have reported total donations received of $1,840,495.00 and total distributions to other organizations of $705,699.00. The majority of the difference of $1,134,796.00 was reported as "functional expenses."
Horn was charged with making false statements on Forms 990 for the 2011 and 2012 tax years. He reported falsely on both returns that he received no compensation from the Foundation. According to the charges, he actually diverted approximately $136,620.06 to personal bank accounts in 2011 and made approximately $39,205.42 in purchases for personal use on a Foundation credit card. In 2012, according to the charges, he diverted approximately $129,451.04 to himself and made approximately $41,126.37 in purchases for personal use on a Foundation credit card. He also allegedly made false statements on these returns about having distributed tens of thousands of dollars to other charities—Straight From the Heart Foundation, Mercy Church West Coast, and Opportunity Knox—when in fact he controlled those charities and spent the money on himself.
Horn pleaded guilty to these charges on September 20, 2017.
Today U.S. District Judge David L. Russell sentenced Horn to fifteen months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. At today’s hearing, the court considered that Horn’s concealment of funds from the IRS included sending money to and receiving money from a church in California. The court also heard that he used Tommie Harris Foundation credit cards to fund expenses that benefitted himself and his family, including luxury car payments, restaurants, vacations, living expenses, air travel, and a home in California. Horn will be required to pay restitution to The Boys & Girls Clubs of America in the amount of $697,842.69, which accounts for his diversion of funds from the Foundation’s charitable giving.
This case is the result of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigations and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles W. Brown prosecuted the case.