The conservative nonprofit Project Veritas is known for its gotcha videos, allegedly exposing liberals of bias and hypocrisy.
But the group’s founder, James O’Keefe, has found himself in the crosshairs of an internal audit for allegedly using Project Veritas money to, among other things, fund trips to California under the pretext of meeting with low-level donors, the Washington Post reported.
O’Keefe used the meetings to justify going to California to visit Alexandra Rose, a real estate agent who has been featured in the Netflix series, “Selling the OC.” O’Keefe also allegedly spent significant amounts of Project Veritas funds on top-shelf tequila for Rose, the outlet reported.
Rose is one of the three “Alexandras” (the other two are Alexandra Jarvis and Alexandra Hall) on the show, which focuses on the Oppenheim Group real estate brokerage and its agents’ personal and professional lives in Orange County, California.
The cited expenditures on Rose related are just several examples of O’Keefe allegedly misspending donor money for personal use, including $12,000 for a helicopter flight from New York to Maine for a sailing trip; over $200,000 on black-car travel over two years; and $2,500 for DJ equipment in hopes that he would secure a gig at Coachella. (Other alleged malfeasance cited in the audit include O’Keefe evacuating himself first from a Hurricane so he could make a performance of “Oklahoma!” in which he was a lead, and telling a woman who just had a miscarriage to report back to work.)
The audit, conducted by Dorsey and Whitney, raises questions over whether O’Keefe complied with nonprofit spending regulations.
Hannah Giles, the current CEO of Project Veritas, likened O’Keefe’s spending habits to those of a wealthy television character, noting that such behavior was unacceptable when funded by donors, including Social Security recipients.
Project Veritas, which gained recognition for exposing bias and wrongdoing in various sectors, including media and liberal advocacy, faces significant challenges. The organization recently laid off 25 of its 40 staff members, citing concerns that the audit’s public release could trigger IRS scrutiny or even a shutdown.
Additionally, Project Veritas faced legal issues, such as two individuals pleading guilty in connection with the theft of Ashley Biden’s diary, which had ended up in Project Veritas’ possession during the 2020 campaign. While O’Keefe’s departure marked the end of an era for the organization, it also resulted in legal disputes, including a lawsuit against him by Project Veritas.
The audit report also highlighted O’Keefe’s “volatile” workplace behavior, which included subjecting an employee to a two-hour polygraph test and making inappropriate comments to female employees regarding pregnancy and miscarriage.
Despite the turmoil within the organization, there have been discussions about O’Keefe potentially rejoining Project Veritas in the future, as suggested by CEO Hannah Giles.
“I don’t know that I could work for him, but I could work with him,” Giles told a Project Veritas employee, in a recording shared with The Post.
— Ted Glanzer