Lamar Odom's Charity Accused Of Shady Dealings
ESPN might be best known for analyzing the Xs and 0s of sports, but through its acclaimed Outside The Lines program, the network also investigates more serious off the field issues. A few years ago, the program made headlines for its investigation into Bernie Fineís alleged crimes, and now itís doing the same with a look at how inefficient, wasteful and sometimes even corrupt a good percentage of athletesí charities really are. By all accounts, thereís a ton of shady ones out there, but unfortunately for Lamar Odomís, itís his thatís been getting the most attention.
According to ESPN, Odomís charity, Cathyís Kids, was created to give money to underprivileged children and cancer research. Over the last eight years, the organization has reportedly brought in $2.2 million. Of that money, however, more than half of it went to fund two elite level AAU teams and none of it has ever, allegedly, gone to cancer grants. In fact, ESPNís investigators couldnít even determine where a healthy percentage of the donations went.
When asked about the situation, the Clippers forward reportedly said it was his money and people shouldnít worry about it, but thatís actually not true. Once money is given to an organization with tax-exempt status, there are specific rules on what can and cannot be done with it. There is way more accountability, which is the trade-off for getting tax-exempt status. Plus, both Odom and his wife Khloe Kardashian solicited funds on their personal websites for the organization.
Odom has plenty of things to do with his time. He also has plenty of money, and all in all, he seems like a pretty decent guy. Consequently, I highly doubt he started a charity named after his mother who died of cancer in order to scam people, but nonetheless, his organization would seem to provide good insight into why itís important to have oversight.