Posted Dec. 13, 2007 – In a move that some said was like a police sting, federal authorities early Thursday spidered out among close associates of the Rev. Al Sharpton, demanded financial records and ordered employees and others to testify on the controversial minister’s financial dealings.
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"It was like a sting or a raid," said Carl Redding, Sharpton's former longtime chief of staff, who said FBI agents roused him at about 6:30 a.m. and slapped him with a subpoena to testify and bring records to the grand jury. "They converged on everybody."
He said they did not tell him the reason for their request. But, according to The New York Daily News, feds are probing Sharpton’s 2004 presidential bid, his nonprofit civil rights organization (the National Action Network) as well as his personal finances and roughly six for-profit businesses. The 10 associates who received subpoenas will appear before the grand jury the day after Christmas. The FBI-IRS investigation spans a six-year period, the News reports.
BET.com’s calls to Sharpton spokeswoman Rachel Nordinger were not returned late Thursday. An FBI official in New York said Thursday that the agency could not comment because of the ongoing investigation.
This isn’t the first time Sharpton has been under investigation, officials at his New York-based network said. "I can't think of a time when the Rev. Sharpton wasn't under investigation," spokesman Charlie King said earlier.
Two years ago, Sharpton agreed to repay the government $100,000 plus interest for missteps during his 2004 presidential campaign. He had used more private money in seeking the Democratic nomination than federal elections rules allow.
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