Playboy Scandal: Poker Charity Money Pocketed by Premiere’s Son?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/10/2008

The disgraced son of Bermuda's Premier remains behind bars, charged with sexually assaulting eight of his patients. Dr. Kevin Brown is also being investigated for allegedly over-prescribing painkillers and for allegedly defrauding two medical funds set up to help the poor. If found guilty he could face up to 27 years.

Brown was also the man behind a lavish Playboy Poker Charity earlier this year and now there are concerns that much of the money raised failed to reach its intended recipients.

A Bermuda Sun investigative report reveals that, while the Urban Health Institute (UHI) - founded by the Premier's son - was granted tax-exempt status because of its stated mission to provide medical relief in the wake of natural disasters, the charity spent only $15,000 on its headline humanitarian missions during that year.

In addition to questions over finance, it has also emerged that the UHI was violating the law by not registering with authorities. All charitable organizationsin California are required to register and to submit reports annually. However, despite incorporating in 2002, and being granted tax-exempt status in 2004, the UHI never did so.

Earlier this year, it was revealed by the Bermuda Sun that the Premier personally ordered public funds be diverted to the UHI, in the shape of prizes to be given away at the charity's annual poker tournaments at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. This year, Dr. Ewart Brown attended the glitzy party as a guest of his son.

The paper went as far as to have a Los Angeles tax expert analyze a financial document submitted to the IRS by Kevin Brown's charity.

"Not much was spent on electricity - in fact, zero was spent on utilities for fundraising purposes," said Marcus Owens, who was an investigator at the IRS for 25 years. "No-one turned the lights on in that office."

Owens claims there are "certainly red flags".

Suzanne Coffman, director of communications for GuideStar, an online service that scrutinizes charities, said that it was a "cause for concern" that the charity's spending on fundraising should dwarf its expenditure on its core humanitarian business. "If that trend continued year on year, those alarm bells would ring louder and louder," she told The Sun.

It was not known whether Playboy was aware of the scandal as of yet.

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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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