Tales of Two Dinners: Umayam’s Handling of Funds from 2009 Independence Day earnings and 2012 “100 Outstanding” Dinner
Federal tax returns of Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc. headed by Darna Umayam shows disparity of $25,000 to $40,000 from the earnings of the 2009 Independence Day organizing committee and the tax return.
By Joel Bander Senior Columnist and the PinoyWatchDog.com Investigative Team
LOS ANGELES – PinoyWatchDog.com’s web page story of a few days ago ran with the opening paragraph of “[s]everal members of the Fil-Am community have come forward and supplied documents and information to PinoyWatchDog.com showing that Darna Umayam, the project director of the scandal-ridden “100 Outstanding Fil- Ams in the US,” appears to have absconded with $25,000 to $40,000 during her Grand Chairmanship of the 111th Philippine Independence Day Committee in 2009.”
Before that story came out Umayam had refused to respond to numerous questions posed to
her by PinoyWatchDog.com. However, once the story was released on the PinoyWatchDog.
com web page she then provided some details, and threatened this publication with a defamation
Among the PWD sources in this week’s web story were the U.S. Federal tax returns of Philippine
Children’s Charities (which Darna Umayam and her husband Eligio Umayam control) for the
years 2009 – 2011, as well as the Profit & Loss Statement signed by Darna Umayam as the ‘Grand Chairman’ of the 2009 Independence Day organizing committee.
This print edition story will contain a fair amount of Umayam’s belated responses (as she complains we do not carry her side, we complain she does not answer our questions), along with many of the still under answered questions in this tale of two dinners — the 2009 Independence Day dinner, and the 2012 “100 Outstanding Fil-Ams in the U.S.” dinner scheduled for Saturday, July 28, 2012, in Universal City. PinoyWatchDog.com has written extensively about Umayam’s ‘pay to play’ awards dinner “100 OFAUS.” When ABS-CBN Foundation International President Mr. Robbie Fabian revealed to this newspaper that Umayam was only required to pay $7500 to the charity,
despite gross earnings expected to exceed $100,000, and his questioning Umayam’s use of a pass
through charity — Philippines Children’s Charities, the PWD investigative team started going beyond faulty selection criteria and paying $1000 to obtain an award. We understand that these reports have caused some awardees believing the they are ‘Outstanding’ to withdraw.
The 2009 U.S. tax returns of Umayam’s nonprofit organization, Philippine Children’s Charities,
used for the 111th Philippine Independence Day celebration committee, show approximately
the same 7.5% ratio of gross funds to net after costs, as the tax return states $127,073.00 in contributions, but only $9683.00 left after taxes. Accepted ratios for fundraising are between 50 – 70 % of funds raised going to the beneficiaries.
However, the 111th Philippine Independence Day Profit and Loss Statement from July 2009
had a grand total of $149,827.00, $22,754 less than reported to the federal government in the tax return. Umayam explained to me that difference was because it was raised in 2008. However, if this
were true, it would mean that less than a 5% excess was left over for charity.
In the mid week internet report I reported that Gil Mislang, the 112th Independence Day celebration Chairman who also was active on the 111th Committee, advised PinoyWatchDog.com that Umayam fired the initial treasurer and took that function over for herself. He remembers that there were disagreements, but does not at this date recall the substance. Umayam denied that any treasurer was fired, and that the treasurer stayed on the whole way. In response Mislang referred me to the signed Profit and Loss Statement, that did not have the treasurer’s signature, and that he is most certain Umayam stated the treasurer ‘was not needed.’
The 2009 Profit and Loss Statement shows $8260 for ‘honorarium.’ Umayam has previously
told me that she pays Fil-Am community journalists to write positive stories about her events,
calling them ‘honorarium.’ However, this amount is exorbitant for this or any event in the Fil-Am
community. The 2009 tax return states there are $8225 in ‘professional fees’ from the tax return.
However, since Umayam is now refusing to answer any questions these inquiries may be left to federal or consular authorities.
The 2009 Profit and Loss Statement shows $5759.68 for food for pre-event meetings. However, Gil Mislang, an active participant in the 2009 planning, advises that Umayam would always boast that the food she was obtaining for these meetings was almost always donated by Filipino restaurants, as is usual for these events. Umayam told me she had receipts for all of these costs, but has yet to produce them to PinoyWatchDog.com.
Also, the 2009 federal tax return has $4706 for occupancy, rent, utilities and maintenance. However, no such items appear close to those items on the 2009 Profit and Loss Statement signed
by Umayam. She has not addressed that issue in any email response.
Umayam: “ We paid Westin Bonaventure Hotel $ 116,000.00 ++for the entire event. We only sold $ 59.00/ticket so we can pull many people. Who are you to question why the left over money is only $ 9,000 ++ do you realize Philippine Independencce is not a charity event. Whatever is left we
gave to charity.”
PWD: The Profit and Loss Statement shows $97,010.00 for the Hotel, which includes $1439.00 for room rentals. We do not know who used those rooms.
Umayam: “The 2010 report was income generated $ 127,000 only from Fiscal year from January 1- December 31, 2009. For your information: The 2009 Independence Day started as early as July 2008. people have paid tickets and sponsorships in 2008. That is for fiscal year January 1-December 31,2008. I have all the proofs, bank statements to show.
Do you realize I am so transparent when I reported the Financial statement at the Philippine Consulate with 146 people in attendance . generating $ 148 ,000.00 Everything was in that report,
including paperclips, etc. We have all receipts of expenses to prove it. The financial statement
was presented, approved and seconded by the body and is on file at the Philippine Consulate.”
PWD: Now that Umayam has spoken PWD investigators will contact the Philippine Consulate, and await Umayam’s promised documentation.
Umayam: “I am going to file a complaint with the consumers department for this allegations to put
a closure on your newspaper. We will dig dip into this. You should put more attention to your problems, rather than accusing people wrongfully. Or maybe people who are envy and jealous of my success and can’t be at par with me use you to attack me. You don’t even know me.”
PWD: We intend to be open for a long time. Let freedom and truth ring.