It’s been a while since a good Al Sharpton story washed over the transom here, but a new one surfaced at the New York Post this week. It seems that a trucker from Arizona is taking the Good Reverend to court for defrauding him out of thousands of dollars. This came in the form of a payment he made to Sharpton in exchange for his promise of help with a racial discrimination suit which he’d lost against one of his customers. Sharpton was quick to promise assistance, but then allegedly became very hard to reach on the phone.
Shakedown Sharpton has struck again, according to an Arizona trucker, who says in a new federal lawsuit that the good reverend promised to help him, then took him for $16,000.
“He’s a crook, he’s a fraud, and that’s all he is,” complains Reggie Anders Sr., who sought out the Rev. Al Sharpton for help resolving a 2009 discrimination dispute with Verizon.
“He didn’t do anything he promised,” Anders said Saturday by phone from Mesa, Ariz. “Absolutely nothing.”
Anders reached out to Sharpton early last year on the advice of his own minister, the Rev. David Wade of Phoenix. Wade knew Franklyn Richards, the chairman of Sharpton’s National Action Network, and set up a meeting. Anders and his pastor flew east for the sitdown at NAN headquarters in Harlem in March 2015.
We’ll keep in mind that, at least at this point, this is simply an allegation. Verizon no doubt gets hit with lawsuits from disgruntled employees and contractors all the time and they seem to have prevailed in court on that one, but that’s really not the point here. Even after Mr. Anders lost his suit, he clearly believed that Al Sharpton and his National Action Network could somehow pressure the communications giant into paying him off and obtained a promise from the Reverend to do just that.
Now, since this is simply an allegation, I generally wouldn’t jump on the story, but there are some odd elements to it which have the ring of truth. First of all there was the manner of payment. Anders said that Sharpton insisted on being paid in cash. What legitimate businessman demands cash in hand for a transaction of that size these days? Once the money is gone you don’t have much of a paper trail. With all that in mind, this might remain a fairly thinly sourced story, but Sharpton as a bit of a history which makes these claims more believable, as regular readers are well aware.
The Reverend is reportedly well known for selling a variety of services, including the offer to not sue you over charges of racism if you make donations to his National Action Network. But while he’s great at collecting money, he’s traditionally not been so keen on paying it out… particularly to the government. We recently learned that Al is apparently still too busy to pay his taxes. That wasn’t an isolated incident either. It turns out that every single for profit business Sharpton has ever started was hit for delinquent taxes. Of course, it’s probably hard to keep up with paying your tab to Uncle Sam when the buildings where your tax records are stored keep mysteriously burning down. And it seems to be a tradition he’s keeping in the family, particularly after finding out that his daughter was suing New York City to the tune of $5M over a sprained ankle which may or may not have been real.
So for the time being we’ll take this story with a grain of salt and allow Mr. Anders time to make and present his case in court. Perhaps he has a receipt for the cash transaction. Or for all we know, the claims might simply disappear. (Much like his money.) For his part, Sharpton seems to have a rock solid alibi.
Anders’ federal suit seeks $1.75 million in damages from Sharpton and Verizon for “conspiring” against him. Asked about Anders on Saturday, Sharpton said, “Who? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Well, case closed then! Sorry to have bothered you, sir.