Reading Time: 2 minutes

Watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the 60 Plus Association, a conservative advocacy group funded largely by the political network of billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch.

In a complaint filed today, CREW asks the IRS to determine whether the 60 Plus Association “violated federal law by intentionally failing to disclose more than $11 million” it spent on political activity in 2010 and 2012.

During those elections, the 60 Plus Association told the Federal Election Commission that it spent millions of dollars on political ads that urged viewers to support or reject candidates.

But the group reported spending just $138,000 during the same period on “direct and indirect political campaign activities” on its annual tax returns. It appeared to classify millions of dollars in political-related expenditures as “educational awareness” and “educating seniors by influencing the election of political candidates.”

These apparent discrepancies were first reported by the Center for Public Integrity on Wednesday.

It’s a felony to “willfully” file IRS tax returns containing fraudulent information.

Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, accused the 60 Plus Association of taking “outrageous liberties with the truth.”

In the newly filed complaint, Sloan urged the IRS to refer the case to the Department of Justice for prosecution if the agency determines that the 60 Plus Association has made “false or incomplete statements” on its tax returns.

Gerry Scimeca, a spokesman for the 60 Plus Association, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 60 Plus Association, founded in 1992, describes itself as nonpartisan, but it generally backs Republican candidates.

James L. Martin, a former journalist who served as chief of staff to a Republican senator during the 1960s, is the chairman of the 60 Plus Association. The group’s president is Amy Noone Frederick, a political professional whose husband formerly served as the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Singer Pat Boone serves as its national spokesman.

Officials with the IRS and DOJ declined to comment about the 60 Plus Association’s reporting practices.

Help support this work

Public Integrity doesn’t have paywalls and doesn’t accept advertising so that our investigative reporting can have the widest possible impact on addressing inequality in the U.S. Our work is possible thanks to support from people like you. 

Michael Beckel reported for the Center for Public Integrity from 2012 to 2017.