Did you guess right?
The inaccurate statement on the slide was:
… statement number four.
Interestingly, Mr. Gordon made a very emphatic point of this in both presentations. Here’s his statement from Saturday morning’s presentation:
“The thing you have to be very careful about is arranging in a corporate fashion that does nothing to endanger the tax-exempt status of, in our case, the school, Albuquerque Academy. So things were done very carefully, obviously, and a separate board of directors was instituted from inception…”
But the board wasn’t separate.
This link will take you to the State of New Mexico’s Business Search page. Enter “High Desert Investment Corporation” in the search box and you’ll be directed to a page which lists, among other information, the original board of directors of HDIC. Here’s a screenshot.
All of the individuals listed are or were members of the Albuquerque Academy Board of Trustees. Mr. Gordon, as you can see, was there from the beginning. (At the time, he had already been on the Academy’s Board for two years.)
Here are a few other screenshots; these come from the Academy’s 2001 tax return. (The return is not paginated, so if you visit the original document, you’ll need to scroll almost to the end.)
Ms. Wynn and Mr. Honegger, also named in the incorporation filing, were appointed to the Academy Board later.
Note that, although not all of these people were on both boards simultaneously, they have all rotated through both organizations (and presumably knew they could expect to do so). So were the boards really separate in any meaningful sense of the word?
Finally, let us leave you with another excerpt from the same year’s tax return:
More coming soon. Stay tuned.