Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Sarah Palin legal headache

I read the Trust Agreement of the Alaska Fund Trust and found these passages interesting:

  • In the event that SARAH PALIN or any Covered Individual is considered to have received taxable income as a result of being a beneficiary of the Trust, the Trustee shall be permitted to reimburse SARAH PALIN or such beneficiary, as the case may be, from the corpus of the Trust for the actual amount of taxes incurred by SARAH PALIN or such beneficiary, as the case may be, as a result of being a beneficiary of the Trust.
  • Beneficiary. The beneficiaries of this Trust shall be SARAH PALIN. In addition, the class of potential beneficiaries shall include any "Covered Individual." For purposes hereof, a "Covered Individual" shall be any other person determined by the Trustee, in the Trustee's sole and absolute discretion, to (i) hold a "covered staff' position within SARAH PALIN's administration and/or an employee in the office of the Governor of the State of Alaska; and (ii) hold a covered relationship with SARAH PALIN, including without limitation, a family member, such as a parent, spouse, child, grandchild, sibling and other close family relationship.
  • Liability of the Trustee and Bond Requirements. Neither the Trustee nor any successor trustees shall be required to give bond for the faithful and proper performance of the Trust duties hereunder. The Trustee or any successor trustee may, however, in his, her or its absolute discretion, purchase a bond in such amount as the Trustee or any successor trustee deems proper and pay the premiums(s) from the Trust funds.
  • Governing Law, Place of Administration. The validity of the Trust and the construction of its terms are governed by the law of the State of Alaska. The principal place of administration of the Trust is the State of Alaska and its administration is governed by the law of the State of Alaska, but the Trustee, in her sole and absolute discretion may change the principal place of administration from time to time to another jurisdiction and thereafter, if declared in writing by the Trustee, the law of the new jurisdiction shall govern the administration of the Trust. Unless otherwise required by the law, the Trustee need not give notice to the beneficiaries of any transfer of the principal place of administration to another jurisdiction.
The first item takes care of the IRS. Is it a case of setting up a fund to pay one's taxes?

The second item refers to beneficiaries. Are only cronies considered "Covered Individuals"? And what are the odds of Piper, Trig or Tripp incurring legal expenses in connection with or as result of Sarah Palin being the governor?

The third is about the Trustee being bonded. Looking at Kristan Cole's past performance in the Dairygate affair, I would insist on her having a bond... but they're lifelong friends and neither is very strong on ethics, so maybe Sarah Palin doesn't deem it necessary.

The last item says one thing then quickly says the opposite.

I'm not a lawyer, far from it, but the wording sounds loose and vague. The purpose of the Fund, not being specific to any particular lawsuit or complaint, sounds a bit like "Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me..."

Now that the Fund itself is being challenged as unethical, all these points may be moot.

Isn't life exciting in Alaska? Well, yes, they have a tabloid governor whose official webpage reads like a personal page on MySpace...

Recall Sarah Palin


Anonymous said...

With this wording, Sarah can use this fund to pay for Bristol's lawyers for any court or custody case filed by Levi.

Sarah, how unethical can you get?

Levi please write the book.

Kyra said...

I'm not a CPA, but in a previous career, I did bookkeeping and taxes. I believe, that payments to reimburse taxes would be considered income. It is still money, it is still being received by the individual for their benefit (ie taxes) and about the only thing that is not taxable, is something that has been legally established within the tax code (legislated) as non-taxable income, and I don't believe that the IRS has allowed money to pay taxes as non-taxable income.

You can give someone a gift that they don't have to pay taxes on, but then, you do. And, there are limits to how much each year and in a lifetime so that's about the only way they could set that up.If it's to avoid taxes, I doubt that the IRS would allow it. Plus, it would fall within those pesky ethics laws that SP keeps running afoul of. It would be a gift.

You just can't get around taxes. I do see, however, language in this that would let them move the fund to the Caymans.

teal said...

:::let me repeate this one more time::::

MLS [money laundry scheme]

got that!