NH Attorney General Fully Absolves We Care Charity of Any Wrong Doing

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Shefali Desai Kalyani (Photo: We care Charity website)

SALEM, NH—We Care Charity, a Salem, NH-based non-profit organization that was recently mired in an accounting and tax controversy, said Monday night that New Hampshire Attorney General has fully absolved the organization of any wrong doing.

“About two months ago, New Hampshire Attorney General’s office was asked to look into the alleged irregularities in We Care Charity finances. WCC representatives were invited by AG’s office to discuss, in detail, all the allegations brought forward by Jay Srinivasan. After an in-depth working session, most of these allegations were deemed baseless and without merit. Re-filed taxes, supporting documentations and working charts were reviewed and accepted as fully compliant. AG certified We Care Charity to go ahead with its charter without any reservations,” We Care Charity said in a written statement sent to INDIA New England News.

The statement said that Thomas Donovan, Attorney General & Director of Charitable Trusts, stated the following in his letter:

“On its own, We Care hired an accounting firm and submitted to the Charitable Trusts Unit on October 4, 2018 amended annual reports, including IRS Forms 990 for 2013 through 2017. Assistant Director of Charitable Trusts Terry Knowles reviewed those amended reports. Ms. Knowles and I met with Ms. Kalyani, Vinay Kalyani and Bharat Shah on October 17, 2018 to discuss those reports and certain expense items. Upon review, the amended annual reports are acceptable to the Charitable Trusts Unit.” “We believe the amended reports and the expense reversal represents a good faith attempt to comply with good accounting practices and reporting requirements. We have not seen evidence of intentional wrongdoing.”

The We Care Charity statement said that the organization, whose mission is to provide food and empower children, individuals and families in crisis in New England and beyond,took the opportunity to discuss formation of its Board with AG’s office and based on their guidance would like to reinforce that in addition to be the President, Shefali Kalyani will also hold the title of Executive Director responsible for all program execution.

“We Care Charity sincerely thanks Ardito, Toscano & McCollum P.C, our CPAs for working many long hours over the past three months to help reshape our books of accounts and suggesting procedures to keep up with a fully compliant way forward,” the statement said. “Our Board of Directors came through when we needed them the most. As our Director, Bharat Shah had stated publicly during DIL SE 3 event, that WCC was fully compliant and prepared for any official inquiry. We stand vindicated and are jubilant that Attorney General’s office holds the same perspective. We have been given a solid green light to continue on our mission.”

The AG office said in its letter to the charity that We Care Charity is now in good standing with the Charitable Trusts Unit. “We wish it well as it conducts its mission to serve the needy in our communities,” the letter said.

“Some of the major allegations & the outcomes are published here ONLY to elucidate our perspective and to bare the truth:

  • Family Members were a part of the Board – True. The Board was reconstituted about two months ago to address this.
  • Shefali took $45,000 salary – False
  • Vinay & Shefali bought refrigerator and freezer for personal use – Baseless and False. These appliances were bought to store food destined for various kitchens and pantry. They are kept in the garage and are solely used for WCC’s perishables. Shefali & Vinay have a separate refrigerator/freezer for their personal use.
  • WCC funds were used for “Home Improvement Projects” – Seriously? A total of $485 were spent to buy shelves from Home Depot to store grain, and pots and pans used by WCC programs. Vinay installed them himself.
  • Funds were diverted for personal use – Baseless and False
  • Funds received though donation were not used for its intended use – False but needed better documentation. We have reconstructed all donations from the past and categorized them by their intended use. Revenues and expenses are now categorized by Programs and tracked accordingly.
  • Funds destined for India Grains Program were sent using personal account – True but acceptable. AG office saw no issue in using personal accounts as part of “expense reimbursement” model as long as appropriate receipts were archived.

It’s time now to rebuild the bridges. To our supporters and believers, we thank you for sticking with us through these past months and to others we hope you let our work speak for itself. We assure you that we will win your hearts again.”

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Many times organizations tend to portray things which are advantage to them in press releases. The following points were NOT included in the press release , which is from AG of NH to We Care charity. I am waiting for amended tax returns from the AG’s office. Stay tuned
    QUOTE:
    In addition, in August and September 2018 We Care Charity reversed several expense payments from prior totally $13.301.97. Ms Kalyani has paid that amount to We Care Charity. That income will reflected in the 2018 annual report. The expense reversals include items that could be considered questionable including a nonrefundable airline ticket, a portion of vehicle expense and payments for programs in India.
    Finally, We addressed the following issues with We Care Charity
    • New Hampshire charitable organizations must consist of a board of director of not less than 5 unrelated persons. RSA 292:6-a. We Care Charity is now in compliance with that requirement.
    • Directors who receive compensation for services either must comply with the requirements for pecuniary benefit (conflict of interest) transactions, except that one director may serve as executive director without triggering that statute. RSA 7:19-a
    We Care Charity has clarified that Ms. Kalyani serves as the executive director.
    • Statements in publications as to the amount of services provided, expressed in volunteer hours or meals served, should be carefully calculated. We Care Charity now carefully calculates it services.
    • The charitable Trusts Unit does not monitor services provided overseas by charities, but We Care Charity should exercise caution in complying with Internal Revenue Service and Republic of India requirements for programming in India. We care has temporarily ceased providing services in India until in clarifies its plans.
    UNQUOTE:
    We will know about the other reversals of expenses when we get the Amended tax returns. Stay tuned,
    The very fact that WCC filed revised taxes from 2013 through 2017 proves, Board of advisors were correct in pointing out the accounting irregularities and practices. There is no word “Fully Absolved” anywhere in AG’s letter.

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