Lois Lerner Refused Tax Exempt Status to Hundreds of Conservative Groups – But Granted Status to an Underage Prostitution Ring

The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal included:

However, Lerner did grant tax exempt status to the Royal Order of Jesters, a prostitution ring and classified their headquarters as a museum.
jesters office building
Royal Order of Jesters office building and “museum.” Photo credit: Brandt Construction (Sandy Frost)

This reads like a James O’Keefe scandal.
Sandy Frost reported:

This seemingly boring property tax story began when attorney Ron Pruitt filed nonprofit incorporation documents with Texas’ Secretary of State on 7/11/2003. These documents were then filed with the IRS, where Lois Lerner, the former Director of Exempt Organization Rulings and Agreements, decided the Royal Order of Jesters deserved 501(c)(3) status as a charity and, on July 24, 2004, approved their application that classified their new headquarters as a “museum.” The Jesters then filed as a foreign corporation business entity with the Secretary of State of Indiana to qualify their new Indianapolis headquarters for property tax exemption. Additionally, the Jesters were afforded other nonprofit benefits including reduced postal rates, possible exemption from state income, sales, and employment taxes, tax-deductible contributions and exemption from Federal income tax. According to About.com, “Tax-exempt means that a nonprofit (1) does not pay taxes to the federal government and (2) that its donors can take a tax deduction for their donations to the organization.”

alex rogers jester
Alex Rogers, Jesters’ executive director. Photo courtsey: Murat Shrine

When the Jester news broke four years ago, we learned from the Buffalo News that a New York state Supreme Court judge resigned after the FBI caught him and two other Jesters in a human trafficking sting. These included his law clerk and a retired Lockport police captain. A retired Erie County Sheriff pleaded guilty last April to driving a limo of prostitutes from the Buffalo New York airport to a national Jester convention in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in April, 2005 and not reporting the felony to authorities. The Judge testified in his plea agreement that he worked with national officials to make sure prostitutes got to a national Jester meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The same plea agreement discloses that the Jesters are under federal investigation for sex trafficking, prostitution and child sex tourism.

The other story I broke four years ago reported that a group of 19 Jesters were on a witness list and were expected to testify about their first hand knowledge of sex with minor girls while on a fishing trip to Brazil. The list included national Jester director Samuel “Scutter” Newton.

The former fishing tour operator who organized the Jester fishing trip is currently being prosecuted by Brazilian authorities for trafficking underage girls into prostitution for his North American fishing clients. He is also under criminal investigation by a grand jury in Miami for child sex tourism and has been sued by four Brazilian women who claim he trafficked them into prostitution while minors.

The depositions of five Brazilian girls describe how one was left pregnant at age 13 after one such fishing trip. Fishing guides took pictures of Jesters having sex with minor girls and surrendered them to the Brazilian Federal Police. The fishing guides testified in the same case that the Jesters asked to be called “Masons” and for girls over 13. It is not yet known if these Jesters are among the twenty fishing customers currently under investigation by the Brazilian Senate.

Here is how the feds describe the Jesters in the Sheriff’s plea agreement.

“The Royal Order of Jesters (“ROJ”) is a worldwide fraternal organization whose membership is limited to individuals invited to join by other members. The motto of the ROJ is ‘mirth is king.’ The ROJ has local chapters or ‘courts.’ On occasion, a local court or group of local courts in the same geographical area sponsor social gatherings known as ‘books of the play’ or ‘books.’ The sponsoring courts organize the ‘books’ and arrange for food, lodging, and entertainment at the ‘books.’ The ROJ also sponsors a yearly national ‘book,’ the equivalent of a national convention. In April, 2005, the Jester’s national book was held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. As set forth below, a typical feature of a ‘book of the play’ is the presence of prostitutes (‘Jester Girls’) who engage in commercial sex acts with members of the ROJ. Arrangements for the prostitutes are generally made by the organizer of the ‘books,’ or the region hosting the national ‘book.’ On occasion, individual Jesters make arrangements to transport prostitutes to ‘books.’”

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