Stacey Abrams’ Nonprofit Faces Possible Scandal Over Missing Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars

by Gee NY

The New Georgia Project, an organization established by Democratic political activist Stacey Abrams in 2014 to mobilize Black voters, is currently under intense scrutiny due to allegations of financial mismanagement.

The organization played a pivotal role in the transformation of Georgia from a Republican to a Democratic state during the 2020 election.

Recent revelations suggest that over half a million dollars went missing following the unexpected departure of the group’s former director, Nse Ufot, in late 2022.

A comprehensive six-month investigation by Politico delved into the financial irregularities exposed in recent tax filings, revealing that Ufot owes the advocacy group hundreds of thousands of dollars in non-work-related expenses.

However, Ufot, a nationally recognized leader in voting rights, hired by Abrams in 2014, was abruptly fired in 2022 and vehemently denies owing any money to the nonprofit.

The investigation unfolded after the New Georgia Project submitted its 2021 financial disclosure forms to the IRS, two months late and three months after Ufot’s termination. The disclosure revealed a $533,846 consulting fee and a $67,500 grant to the Black Male Initiative, a charity involving Ufot’s brother, Edima, who was also a former employee of the New Georgia Project.

However, the Black Male Initiative has denied ever receiving such payment, presenting its IRS financial records as proof.

Before Ufot took charge, Raphael Warnock led the organization for more than two years, from 2017 to 2020, before stepping down to run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. During Warnock’s tenure, the nonprofit raised over $36 million in donations, playing a significant role in registering 800,000 voters in Georgia, contributing to the election of two Georgia Democrats to the U.S. Senate.

The investigation by Politico exposed neglect in the proper monitoring of prepaid expenses on employee Visa gift cards and the nonprofit’s failure to document salary advances. Current and former employees cited “multiple instances of poor financial record-keeping,” revealing deeper administrative challenges, including a state ethics investigation into potential violations and a dispute over the payment status of the group’s payroll taxes.

The New Georgia Project operates under two tax categories — 501(c)(3), which cannot engage in politics, and 501(c)(4), which can allocate up to half of its resources to political activities.

The organization’s board is now considering steps to improve expense tracking as part of an internal investigation. Frank Wilson, a retired scholar and civil rights activist serving as one of two board chairs in Abrams’ advocacy group, expressed a commitment to a forensic review of records to ensure transparency.

Despite the success of the New Georgia Project and Abrams’ influential role in Georgia politics, the recent scandal has surprised many.

Abrams, who stepped away from the organization’s leadership team in 2017, has not yet commented publicly on the matter. Additionally, Raphael Warnock, who was at the helm until January 2020, has not fully addressed whether he was aware of any potential mismanagement issues during his tenure.

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