January 01, 2015

Tag Archives: Internal Revenue Service

Joey Berlin’s Goldmine – Critics Choice Awards

Joey Berlin, who co-founded the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. in 1995 and continues to oversee its day-to-day operations and its televised Critics’ Choice Movie Awards each year, likes to say that his membership seems to be satisfied with the job he’s doing because he’s been repeatedly re-elected every two years as its president.
To read article about CRACKPOT OF THE MONTH – DAVID POLAND – BFCA
The nonprofit group’s latest tax filings show that Berlin also is handsomely paid for his work. The BFCA’s latest IRS Form 990 tax filing shows that Berlin Entertainment, Inc., a company 100 percent owned by Berlin, received $859,077 for production services in 2012, a jump from $376,270 listed on tax forms the previous year.
To read article about CRACKPOT OF THE MONTH – DAVID POLAND – BFCA

Between 2009 and 2012, Berlin Entertainment was paid a total of $1,851,347, according to federal tax documents filed by the nonprofit.
Meanwhile, Berlin’s base compensation and benefits totaled $478,350 in 2012, according to the IRS filing. That compares with $455,230 the previous year.
TO CHECK TAX RETURNS FOR BFCA
The BFCA touts itself as the largest film critics organization in the U.S. and Canada, representing more than 280 television, radio and online critics.
To read prior story about Joey Berlin’s Goldmine and Critics Choice Awards.
To read about CRACKPOT OF THE MONTH – DAVID POLAND – BFCA
The boom in Oscar media coverage has propelled nonprofits like the BFCA into prominence in the run-up to the Academy Awards. Other shows like the Golden Globe Awards, the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Santa Barbara Film Festival actively court potential Oscar nominees and the studios and independent distributors gladly lend their help in supplying stars for their glitzy events hoping to generate Oscar buzz.
In recent years, the Critics’ Choice Awards has attracted numerous stars to its red carpet gala, including George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep. They mix and mingle and dine along with broadcast critics from around North America.
In 2012, the year covered by the tax returns, the Critics’ Choice Awards were held at the Hollywood Palladium and broadcast by VH1. The winners that year were “The Artist” for best picture, George Clooney for best actor in “The Descendants” and Viola Davis for best actress in “The Help.” Michel Hazanavicius won best director for “The Artist.”
This year’s Critics’ Choice Awards was broadcast live on the CW Network from […]

The Talent Search: Christians in Hollywood Part 2

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
Seventeen-year-old Nicole Smolen is an actress and Christian who works in Hollywood.
Smolen has appeared on such network TV shows as “Criminal Minds” and “Brothers & Sisters” and has been cast in feature films and a national TV commercial. But it’s her role in a new small-budget indie film called “8 Days” that makes her particularly proud.
In the yet-to-be released film, Smolen plays Amber Stevens, a 16-year-old from a well-off home who sneaks away to a high school party with friends and winds up drugged, kidnapped, raped and forced by pimps into the netherworld of sex trafficking.
But because those gritty elements contained in the plot are only the beginning of the storyline, Smolen believes she is not compromising her Christian faith.
“It’s a very inspirational story and I believe it will touch a lot of lives” Smolen told HollywoodNews. “All the profits go to safe houses (for victims of human trafficking) and people in need. It’s not like we’re profiting off of this.”
The role appealed to her, she noted, because “it’s a film that will benefit people and inform (moviegoers) about human trafficking….I don’t want to just be a typical teenaged girl (in films) who’s crazy about boys. I want films that cause change in people’s lives.”
Smolen credits Actors, Models & Talent for Christ, a faith-based nonprofit based in Tyrone, Ga., with helping hone her talents to the point where she and her parents decided to sell their home in Lawrenceville, Ga., and move to L.A. so that she could pursue an acting career. She said she still remains friends with people she met through AMTC and the network helps keep her grounded in an industry where success is often accompanied by rejection and periods of unemployment.
Never heard of Actors, Models & Talent for Christ? Since 2012 alone, the organization says it has trained between 2,000 and 3,000 people in the in’s and out’s of the entertainment and modeling industries.
The training isn’t cheap. This summer’s intensive six-day International Shine Conference scheduled July 1-6 in Orlando, Fla., costs $3,895 to $4,995 per person (a $300 discount applies if paid in full).
To attend the Shine conference, performers must first audition and be accepted. These auditions are held in cities throughout the United States. The next L.A.-area auditions are scheduled for June 21 in Pasadena and July 19 in Anaheim.
AMTC has its roots in a modeling convention that began […]

UPDATE: Leonard Klady Expelled From LAFCA – Los Angeles Film Critics Association

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
What is it about film critics these days?
First, the New York Film Critics Circle ousts long-time film reviewer Armond White after he reportedly heckled Steve McQueen, the director of “12 Years a Slave,” at an awards dinner earlier this year. White denied the heckling but the story went viral.
Now, on the opposite coast, Leonard Klady, a box office analyst for the website Movie City News, has been expelled from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association after an attempt to get sponsors for the group’s annual awards dinner triggered a lawsuit.
The Klady story broke earlier this week when Deadline.com reported that Klady was given the boot “over an unauthorized agreement he’d made on behalf of LAFCA to third party consultant Sheri Wish, who was contracted for $3000 to bring in sponsorships for LAFCA’s annual award dinner last January. Wish failed to deliver any sponsorships at all.”
Deadline wrote that when LAFCA rejected Wish’s request to be paid, she sued.
Klady told Deadline that there was “no malfeasance” and that he was working “in my role as the chairman of the awards committee and the person who I engaged was recommended by a reputable person in the industry.”
The case was settled out of court with Wish receiving $1000 from the film critics’ group and $1000 from Klady.
HollywoodNews contacted the vendor but she declined to be interviewed. Klady could not be immediately reached for comment by HollywoodNews.
But Stephen Farber, LAFCA’s president and a film critic for the Hollywood Reporter, told HollywoodNews on Friday that his group voted to expel Klady because “he had caused the organization to be sued. He took action on his own with this woman that was not really something that was authorized by the group. He didn’t tell (LAFCA’s officers) or anybody else that he had assigned this contract.”
On Thursday, Klady had told Deadline he had been blindsided by his expulsion. He explained: “It was a misunderstanding as a result of a contract for service. When the service was not provided, rather than drag it through the court system, we settled it. I offered to settle the entire thing myself and I was told they didn’t want to do that. I paid $1000 and the organization paid $1000.” Klady also told Deadline that he was never made aware of the closed-door meeting where the vote over his expulsion was held, nor given a chance to defend […]

Critics’ Choice: Joey Berlin from BFCA

Joey Berlin from the Broadcast Film Critics Association – Critics’ Choice Awards
By ROBERT W. WELKOS
In 1995, Joey Berlin and Rod Lurie, two entertainment reporters and film critics who had written for rival publications, joined forces to create the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.
While Lurie would go on to carve out a successful Hollywood career as a screenwriter and director with such films as “The Contender” and “The Last Castle,” Berlin hasn’t faired too badly, either, as the president of the BFCA.
Starting with 44 members the first year, the BFCA’s voting membership today hovers between 285 and 290 and the organization bills itself as the largest film critics group in the U.S. and Canada.
At the same time, the BFCA created the Critics’ Choice Awards, a glitzy tux-and-gown gala now televised on the CW Network that features red carpet celebrity arrivals, drawing worldwide media attention and plenty of Oscar buzz since the show coincides with the run-up to the Academy Awards.
But as the show has catapulted the broadcast critics into the Oscar conversation each movies awards season, tax records show that the nonprofit group Berlin leads has paid his privately-owned company, Berlin Entertainment, Inc., hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for production services.
Read prior Broadcast Film Critics Association story here at Hollywoodnews.com
IRS Form 990 filings list Berlin Entertainment, Inc., receiving a combined $992,270 from the nonprofit between fiscal 2009 and 2011.
Berlin notes that his members seem to be satisfied with the job he’s doing since he has been repeatedly re-elected president every two years.
The tax files show that Berlin’s base compensation and benefits were a combined $1,297,133 for the three-year period spanning fiscal 2009 to 2011. But his compensation is listed as coming from “related organizations” and not directly from the BFCA, according to the Form 990 documents, which all nonprofits are required to file with the IRS to qualify for tax-exempt status.
When asked about his sizeable compensation, Berlin told HollywoodNews.com in a recent telephone interview: “I did this for five years for zero compensation, but this is what I do all day, every day. I’m really proud of what we’ve built and accomplished….
“My compensation has grown with the growth of the show,” he adds without apology. “The television show is an incredible benefit to the members.” He notes that these benefits include such things as access and awards screeners. “That seems a comfortable arrangement for everybody.”
One […]

Film Festival: Palm Springs Gold

25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala – Awards Presentation. Meryl Streep and Margo Martindale
By ROBERT W. WELKOS
It’s no mirage.
After a quarter-century, and some early struggles, the Palm Springs International Film Festival has seen its visibility and star quotient rise significantly by tapping into Hollywood’s hotly contested movie awards season.
The festival’s success—it now draws about 130,000 attendees—has come without a lucrative television deal for its black-tie gala similar to ones enjoyed by the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards.
The festival was the brainchild of the late Palm Springs Mayor Sonny Bono, who rose to stardom as half of the pop singing duo Sonny and Cher and later became a U.S. congressman representing the Coachella Valley. Bono died in a 1998 skiing accident.
Harold Matzner, a local businessman and philanthropist who was a close friend and tennis partner of Bono’s, eventually took over the financially struggling festival and improved its bottom line.
A patron of the arts, Matzner not only chairs the film festival but also chairs the McCallum Theatre, is vice president on the board of trustees at the Palm Springs Art Museum, and his other philanthropic efforts include Desert AIDS Project, Stroke Recovery Center, Temple Isaiah and Animal Samaritans. He owns Spencer’s restaurant in Palm Springs.
Matzner has credited the late Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen for helping him get Hollywood studios to send movie stars being mentioned for the Oscars to be honored at the Palm Springs festival’s black-tie gala. Chasen was murdered in 2010 in a drive-by shooting in Beverly Hills as she drove her black Mercedes-Benz and police concluded it was a random attack carried out by a transient riding a bike.
Matzner chairs the tax-exempt organization behind the festival—the Palm Springs International Film Society.
The film society’s Form 990 tax returns that are filed annually with the IRS show that the nonprofit has achieved success as the film festival has become more popular.
The tax filings show that:
*The film festival had more than $26 million in total support from fiscal years 2005-06 to 2012-13.
*Revenues totaled $3.9million and expenses totaled $3.3 million in fiscal 2012-13.
*No grants were listed from fiscal 2009-10 to 2012-13.
*Chairman Matzner and other board members received no compensation for their work on the festival.
*The nonprofit paid Spencer’s restaurant $117,525 for catering and use of its facilities in fiscal 2012-13 and $113,912 in fiscal 2011-12.
*The nonprofit paid Wessman Development Co. $89,896 and $90,638 for the same […]

Lindsay Lohan’s bank accounts seized by IRS

HollywoodNews.com: Lindsay Lohan just can’t get things right these days as it is reported that her bank accounts have recently been seized by the IRS.
Lindsay reportedly owes over $200,000 to the IRS even though Charlie Sheen tried to help by paying $100,000 of her debt, states TMZ. Now, as she has already been given plenty of time to pay, she had her accounts seized so that the IRS can get their money.
Lindsay is allegedly panicking about her financial situation and trying to figure out how to make some money fast.
Do you think she’ll get it together?
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Charlie Sheen reportedly gave Lindsay Lohan money to pay IRS debt

HollywoodNews.com: It seems that Charlie Sheen has it so together these days that he is actually helping out other troubled stars.
It is being rumored that Sheen recently gave Lindsay Lohan $100,000 to help her pay her debt to the IRS, states Hollyscoop. After the two worked together on ‘Scary Movie 5,’ he reportedly offered to help her pay some of her $233,904 debt to the IRS.
While she initially declined, he allegedly ended up sending her business manager a check anyway which was gladly accepted.
What do you think about this?
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Oprah is pushing a new guru!

I don’t know how she does it: it was only six years ago that Oprah Winfrey was touting new age nut Eckhart Tolle as the all time genius of the world. He was her spiritual mentor. Winfrey actually ran podcasts and internet classes with the guy who has since quietly vanished from the spotlight. Now, maybe because she’s in her own personal crisis with her OWN network, Oprah is pushing a new guru. (She still hawks Marianne Williamson.) This guy is named Michael Singer, author of a book called “The Untethered Soul.”
But Michael Singer is indeed better known in his hometown of Alachua, Florida as Mickey Singer. And in 2005 he was indicted in a massive government fraud case against his company Medical Manager Health Systems, which was an offshoot of WebMD. http://www.gainesville.com/article/20051216/LOCAL/212160339 Singer was accused with nine others of inflating Medical Manager Health Systems profits, and of conspiring to launder money.
Two years after the indictment, Singer donated $100,000 of new computer software to the Alachua Police Department. By the time the case was over in 2010, Singer settled with the government by paying a $2.5 million settlement. The government dropped all charges. Singer acknowledged that the accounting practices of his company were illegal but–according to the agreement hammered out between his powerful Washington DC lawyers from Baker Botts and local Florida prosecutors–didn’t know it was taking place at the time. http://tinyurl.com/c9u3y4m
Later, the people actually convicted by the government had their verdicts overturned based on a lapsed statute of limitations. http://www.gainesville.com/article/20100303/articles/3031013
Now Singer will appear on Oprah’s Sunday Soul show this weekend on OWN. After his long adventure with the government, Singer–who was an early software multi-millionaire in the medical systems field–became a guru. He started something called the Temple of the Universe outside of Gainesville, Florida. He has lots of followers, but I’m not sure you could call it an actual cult. Temple of the Universe is registered with the IRS as a religion and has non profit tax status. But they’ve filed no public papers about their finances. They don’t even come up on Charity Navigator. But Singer is selling books and CDs and conducting new age classes and lectures.
Odds are Oprah will not be asking him about all this other stuff on Sunday’s show.
To read more go to WWW>SHOWBIZ411.COM
(republished from earlier this week)

Lavish Oscar Week Gifting to the Stars

By Beck/Smith
HollywoodNews.com:There are about a dozen gifting suites handing out swag to Oscar nominees, presenters and other stars this week. Perhaps the most popular destination for prestige pampering — certainly one of the busiest — is the Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Suite at the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills.
As of yesterday (2/23), some 200 stars and 10 nominees had already visited the suite, including Wendi McLendon Covey, Oscar presenter and “Bridesmaids” star, with her friend, Oscar nominee for Best Screenplay honors for “Bridesmaids,” Annie Mumolo. We’re told they loved
their Raju Rasiah Beverly Hills rings, and their GM Collin SKincare Paris kit.
Richard Middleson, “The Artist’s” executive producer, came with his wife Katherine. She fell for a Shekar Rahate gown, saying she felt it was perfect to represent the movie. Shekar customized the dress just for her in 24 hours.
Oscar nominee Eimear O’Kane, (Live Action Short Film), found her jewelry and handbag for the Oscars at the suite from Timmy Woods.
Penelope Ann Miller from “The Artist” came away with a stay at Belleek Castle in Ireland, as well as a collection of Classified Cosmetics
Stars ranging from Rene Taylor to Lorenzo Lamas to Eric Roberts enjoyed their Bob Marley Coffee and Lorimar Winery wine.
The pampering offered to stars at the RNSH suites ranged from manicures to waxing, facials, “instant eye lifts” and massages.
The gifting suite practice, which took a hit a few years ago when the IRS decided to demand its share, is in full-swing again this awards year. All this giving out of designer clothing, luxury trips, expensive gadgets and myriad edible and drinkable goodies are a win-win for the stars and companies involved. The celebs get to load up on fabulous freebies, while product makers and designers get valuable celebrity endorsements at relatively low cost. It’s also standard to see a charity or eco-minded tie-in for the suites. In the case of RNSH, it’s The Andy Transplant Foundation.
To read more go to Beck/Smith Hollywood
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The Osbournes owe some serious back tax money

HollywoodNews.com: Apparently Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne need to pay closer attention to their finances as it seems that they are in a little bit of tax trouble.
It is being reported that the couple owes about $1.7 million in back taxes, states Financial Planning. As a result of the money owed, the IRS has reportedly placed a lien on the couple’s Los Angeles home.
The money the Osbournes owe is from 2008 and 2009.
Sharon has reportedly addressed the matter on her Twitter page: “[C]an’t rely on anyone else. You have to be on top of your own business affairs. My fault—lesson learned.”
Do you think these two will get their money under control?
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