* Sun-Times and ProPublica Illinois…
Through an often-dizzying series of transactions, Tillman and his associates have moved millions of dollars around five interconnected nonprofits they run, steering money to for-profit ventures in which they have a stake.
For example, in addition to his role as chief executive officer at the institute, Tillman is the board chairman and former president of Think Freely Media, another small-government nonprofit that once shared office space with the institute and received hundreds of thousands of dollars from it in grant money.
In 2015, Think Freely Media made a $49,400, no-interest loan to a for-profit data and marketing company called Crowdskout. That came a few months after the nonprofit loaned Crowdskout $60,000 plus interest. At the time, Tillman had “majority unit control” of the entity that owned Crowdskout, according to a financial audit of Think Freely Media. […]
“If this is basically seen as an indirect loan to the officer, that’s a flat-out violation of nonprofit law in Illinois,” [ Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer of the University of Notre Dame Law School] said. […]
“Obviously, these are all fully disclosed transactions, all at fair market value as they should be,” Tillman wrote. “And yes, people and companies are paid for providing services. When I have had a role with an organization, that relationship must be properly disclosed to the board and I recused myself regarding any decisions made.”
* You most definitely should go read the whole thing. They even have cool, easy to read graphics like this one.
* And pay attention to stuff like this…
On four occasions from 2013 to 2015, Think Freely Media gave grants to nonprofits that then hired for-profit marketing firms controlled by Tillman, records show.
“We’ve had the good fortune of being able to assist others in getting off the ground along the way — all of which is publicly reported,” Tillman wrote.
Tillman pitched Crowdskout to many Republicans, and Rauner hired the firm in 2016, paying it $200,000 to do market research for his campaign, according to state records.
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