Recap of known state and federal interest in medical GIK

December 7, 2018, 9:29 am

Superior court facade in downtown Los Angeles, California. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There are a number of state and federal actions visible for financial reporting by charities. Focus of the efforts currently is valuation of GIK and the impact of those valuations on fund raising appeals. Perhaps a recap of those efforts will provide some helpful context to the charity community.

Update: End of this post describes the change in accounting over the last seven years in terms of how to value meds that legally may not be distributed in the U.S.  Hint: a 180 degree change.

Today is the 9th day of out of 15 days scheduled for hearings on the California AG’s cease and desist order (C&DO) for MAP International (MAP), Food for the Poor (FftP), and Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB).

Here is the list of publicly visible Attorneys General who are focusing on financial statements of the large medical GIK charities:

California:

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Filings to seek depositions in the California AG’s cease and desist orders regarding three charities

December 4, 2018, 9:15 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The battle over the AG’s cease and desist order is in the appeal stage. Hearings are in day 6 out of 15 scheduled days.

The appeal is taking place in the state Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is overseeing the appeal.

This is the second in a series of posts describing some of the filings in the public record regarding the enforcement action and the appeals by the charities.

I have one stray follow-up comment to my previous post and then will dive into the filings about obtaining depositions from people living outside the state. Those individuals are not subject to an order to appear in person before the OAH.

Might want to get a fresh cup of coffee. This will be a long read. If you are at all interested in this case, you will find lots of interesting background info here.

Oh, everything I mention here is based on public documents available from the OAH.

Follow-up on Pro Hac Vice – FftP filed with OAH to get one of their attorneys granted Pro Hac Vice permission to practice in the state. This attorney is the lead litigator for the law firm on non-profit issues. Of note is the motion says it is unopposed by the AG. The OAH ruled they do not have authority to grant Pro Hac Vice. I don’t fully understand the reasoning, but I think it is essentially that the state bar or a court grants such status and the OAH is neither the state bar nor a trial court that can grant the permission. So, another motion, running 60 pages in length, was filed with the Superior Court of the county of Los Angeles. That court agreed it had authority and granted the attorney Pro Hac Vice status.

The docket shows a notice filed by MAP regarding Pro Hac Vice. I didn’t read it and assume it was announcing the same results for their counsel. I didn’t see anything on the docket from CMMB.

Protocol for naming individuals mentioned in filings

As I started this series of posts, I pondered how to name the individuals that are mentioned.

Full name? Initials? First name and initial of last name? No name?

Here is my conclusion:

For only the expert witnesses, my posts will list the person’s full name. Those individuals want to be in the public eye and want to be known as an expert. It looks like they usually speak in public on a regular basis. Thus I am comfortable listing their full name.

For everyone else in the case, such as management and staff of the charities along with partners and staff of CPA firms, it is different. They did not sign up to be in the public spotlight, so I’ll skip their last names. My posts will list their first name and first initial of the last name. I’ll also list job title or job description along with their employer when pertinent. Those in the know already know who has been dragged into the case.

Obtaining permission to obtain depositions

The AG wanted to depose a number of people who reside outside California but cannot be compelled to attend a hearing by the OAH. Thus the process the AG had to follow is request the ALJ to approve taking depositions.  The charities can file objections, which they did. (Charities unsuccessfully claimed these constitute discovery, which is not allowed under OAH regulations.). After addressing objections, the ALJ then issues orders allowing certain people to be deposed. The AG then goes to the Superior Court to request an enforceable order for those individuals to be deposed.

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Comments in financial statements of three charities appealing California AG’s Cease and Desist Order. Part 3 of 3.

November 20, 2018, 7:05 am

Appeals of the AG’s C&D Order will be heard by an administrative law judge. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There are a number of pieces of information of public interest in the most recent financial statements for the three charities who received cease and desist orders from the California Attorney General. The appeal hearings start in a week, on November 27, 2018.

Part 1 of this series provided background, an executive summary, and a short discussion of Catholic Medical Mission Board’s disclosed accounting policy. Part 2 discussed the Food for the Poor financials.

This post will discuss the MAP International financials. Might want to get a fresh cup of coffee since this is a long read because it quotes the accounting policy in 2017 and 2016 along with a transition comment from the 2014 financials.

Previous post discussed the 12/31/16 financials for FftP, 9/30/17 financials for CMMB, and 9/30/16 financials for MAP.  FftP and MAP have since issued their next year’s report; CMMB has not.

MAP International

The 9/30/16 financials were available for issue on February 2, 2017, about 4 months after year-end.

The audited financials for the year ending September 30, 2017 have a date on the audit report of September 27, 2018. That means the 9/30/17 financials were released, or available for issue, on 9/27/18, about twelve months after the fiscal year-end. Audit report is from the Lawrenceville, Georgia office of Capin Crouse.

This means the 2017 financials were prepared with knowledge of the AG’s allegations and known status of the case as of September 2018.

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Comments in financial statements of three charities appealing California AG’s Cease and Desist Order. Part 2.

November 19, 2018, 8:24 am

At issue in the AG’s claim: how should pallets of donated meds be valued if restricted by donor for distribution overseas? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There are a number of pieces of information of public interest in the most recent financial statements for the three charities who received cease and desist orders from the California Attorney General. The appeal hearings start in about a week, on November 27, 2018.

Part 1 of this series provided background, an executive summary, and a short discussion of CMMB’s financials. This post discusses the Food for the Poor (FftP) financials. Part 3 will discuss the MAP financials.

Previous post discussed the 12/31/16 financials for FftP, 9/30/17 financials for CMMB, and 9/30/16 financials for MAP.  FftP and MAP have since issued their next year’s report; CMMB has not.

Food for the Poor

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Comments in financial statements of three charities appealing California AG’s Cease and Desist Order. Part 1 of 3.

November 17, 2018, 10:03 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Just checked on the most recent financial statements for the three charities who received cease and desist orders from the California Attorney General. The appeal hearings start in a week, on November 27, 2018.

Found a number of pieces of information in the financials that are of public interest to this developing story. Will point out some of the information now. Later on, as time allows, I’ll provide some commentary on the disclosures.

Previous post discussed the 12/31/16 financials for FftP, 9/30/17 financials for CMMB, and 9/30/16 financials for MAP.  FftP and MAP have since issued their next year’s report; CMMB has not.

This discussion will be in three parts.

Executive Summary

All three charities disclose they use wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) to value donated medicine.

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Assessment of allocating cost of speakers in Food For the Poor’s financial statements.

October 5, 2018, 8:39 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Cease and Desist Order filed by the Michigan Attorney General on December 19, 2017 provides an analysis of the joint cost allocation methodology used by Food For the Poor.  The Order can be found here.

FFP hires pastors from various denominations to make presentations at churches in the pastors’ denomination.  FFP applies joint cost allocation accounting to classify a large portion of the speakers’ time as program services.  The AG concluded the allocation methodology did not follow GAAP.

As mentioned previously, FFP settled the AG’s allegations by agreeing to pay the state $300,000 and revising its fundraising materials.

For general education of the nonprofit community, this post will quote the AG’s Cease and Desist Order at length on the joint cost allocation issue.

The authoritative explanation of what constitutes generally accepted accounting principles is found in FASB’s Accounting Standards Codification™ (ASC). I will add some citations from ASC to the AG’s Order. Will also add a few comments along the way.

A detailed look at the AG’s Order is valuable because it provides an in-depth analysis of a specific situation with a detailed comparison to authoritative GAAP.

You might want to get a fresh cup of coffee since this post is a long read, currently sitting at over 1,500 words. It is also quite technical.

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2018 nonprofit risk alert is available. New edition adds discussion on valuation of GIK as rebuttal to California AG.

June 11, 2018, 8:38 am

Cover of 2018 NFP risk alert, used under fair use since I’m recommending you buy the document.

The AICPA has released the 2018 edition of Not-for-Profit Entities Industry Developments.

If you are a CPA serving the not-for-profit community, you need to read this document each year. It provides a survey of the accounting and auditing issues affecting the nonprofit world.

If you are an auditor, there are several other risk alerts you ought to be reading every year.

If you are working for a nonprofit, these alerts would give you a good survey of accounting issues in general and the audit issues your CPA will be dealing with this year.

Valuation of Gifts in Kind

Of particular interest are new comments responsive to the challenge from the California AG over valuation of GIK. The 2017 and 2016 editions had minimal comments on GIK.

The 2018 edition has a new section, Gifts-in-Kind: Reporting Contributions of Nonfinancial Assets, in paragraphs .53 through .57, which describes the AICPA’s interpretation of GAAP.

Years after the mebendazole issue has faded away, the second bullet point of paragraph .56 says that when GIK is sourced outside the U.S. and is not approved for distribution in the U.S., the meds should be valued at international prices. (If you have been following this issue for years, you realize the concession made by that comment.)

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