Rocky Mountain Fur Con canceled following neo-Nazi associations, tax irregularities
Colorado furry convention Rocky Mountain Fur Con has been canceled. Funds collected in advance of this August's event are to be spent on existing liabilities, and refunding attendees and dealers where possible; any remainder will go to the convention charity.
While their official statement cites rising security costs, the closure follows the controversial issues surrounding CEO Kendal Emery (Kahuki Liaru), and the "Furry Raiders" group. It has also been discovered by Flayrah that the convention's parent company's Federal tax-exempt status, obtained in 2009, had lapsed, and it had not filed taxes for a period of seven years, while still claiming to be a registered 501(c) non-profit. In this investigative report we can identify the issues that have contributed to the end of Denver's furry convention.
A due-diligence search on the non-profit company, Mid America Anthropomorphic And Art Corporation - parent organisation to the Rocky Mountain Fur Con - shows that it has not filed tax returns between 2008 and 2015. MAAAC promoted itself as a "non profit 503(c) corporation" on the convention's Twitter account. However, according to IRS records, the company's status as an exempt non-profit was revoked in 2011 for failure to file annual information returns. The IRS confirms that they have not qualified as a exempt non-profit under any part of the United States Federal tax code since 2011.
A non-tax related filing was made by the company with the IRS in 2011, to transfer the responsible board officer from Kendal Emery to Zachary Brooks (Sorin) who is the current chairman of the convention. Kendal stood down as chair of Rocky Mountain Fur Con after his 1993 conviction for "Criminal Sexual Contact with a Minor" was revealed.
Using the title of "Chief of Executive Contract Law Officer", Kendal signed the letter with a blood-red thumb print as a seal. This seal, alongside other language used in the letter, is commonly linked with the "Sovereign Citizen" movement, associated with rejection of Federal and State government's legitimacy to enforce laws and taxes. The "Furry Raiders" have also been associated in press profiles with other alt-right and neo-Nazi movements. [More information regarding the conflict between Deo and RMFC at Dogpatch Press.]
When asked by Flayrah for comment, Zachary gave the following statement:
Up until the 2011 year, Rocky Mountain Fur Con filed and had accepted by the IRS form 990-N Electronic E-post card for Tax-Exempt Organizations not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ. When the company lost its 503C Status the organization continued to operate as a Colorado Stat Non-profit and contributed money to a registered charity Freedom Service Dogs, To Offset most of our tax Liability.
Despite no longer operating as a Non-Profit organization the staff and Board of directors continued to receive no wages or compensation and all monies earned were put directly into the operation and growth of Rocky Mountain Fur Con, the organization's primary endeavor. In 2015 our accountants realized there had been a lapse in our tax filings that were rectified May 18th, 2015 and filed with the IRS including reporting of back income. The convention has been delayed in filing it's 2016 return but will be doing so shortly.
Prior to this story's publication, Rocky Mountain Fur Con posted the following statement from their Chairman to announce RMFC's cancelation:
Recently, members of our community have taken it upon themselves to bring in external influences of hate, intolerance, and stubborn refusal to compromise. This movement has grown into a community that promotes violence, and it is because of that, it is with deep regret that I make the following announcement:
Last month, we were faced with a sudden and drastic increase in security costs amounting to more than a third of our entire existing operating budget. This cost increase stemmed directly from the very public threats of violence against one another by members of this community, as well as the negative backlash from misinformation spread about the convention, its staff and attendees. Therefore, Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2017 is officially canceled. I will no longer continue to subject my staff and our community to the lies, hate, violence and slander that was disseminated by a small, vocal minority.
All resources relating to the Convention will be used to close our costs and tax liability, and the remainder will be utilized to provide refunds as funds allow to attendees and vendors. Any remainder will go to our standing Charity, Freedom Service Dogs.
My staff, the Board, and I would like to thank the community for ten great years. We had hoped to see this convention continue to grow and flourish but that is no longer an option.
Update (12 Apr): MAAAC board member Rodney Brian Graff (Scorch) claims that the Denver Marriott Tech Center demanded $22,000 to pay off-duty Denver Police to provide security, after the police investigated comments on Deo's Twitter feed and found them "credible" threats. Meanwhile, rumours are spreading of disputes between Kahuki, Scorch, and Sorin, cumulating in an ultimatum after the cease-and-desist letter.