Politico uncovers more funding indiscretions from Patrick Soon-Shiong
Biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong made other potentially questionable business choices, according to a new POLITICO report released Monday.
The investigation revealed the majority of expenditures from Soon-Shiong’s research foundation, Chan Soon-Shiong NantHealth Foundation, are poured into businesses and nonprofits controlled by Soon-Shiong.
Further, the majority of the foundation’s grants went to organizations that have business deals with Soon-Shiong’s for-profit companies.
Specifically, 70 percent of the near $60 million in foundation expenditures from 2010 to 2015 went to Soon-Shiong’s nonprofits and for-profit businesses, in addition to companies that do business with his for-profit companies.
Additionally, the foundation sold an office building to Soon-Shiong’s for-profit company for $6 million -- six years after it sold for $13.3 million. It was tax-assessed at $10.7 million, at the time of its sale. The property was later deeded back to the foundation, according to his tax records.
Six employees of Soon-Shiong’s for-profit businesses were also paid by the foundation, suggesting the billionaire is using the foundation to cover overhead of his for-profit companies.
In total, Soon-Shiong’s charities gave $15 million to Phoenix Children’s Hospital fund that included deals with Soon-Shiong’s for-profit businesses for millions of dollars.
These new claims tack onto two Stat reports that found Soon-Shiong donated $12 million to a University of Utah genomics program, with the directive that $3 million will be funneled back to Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth. The other report said Soon-Shiong’s cancer program is merely a marketing ploy, as it has yet to make or test scientific advances.
"All of these endeavors, including my charitable endeavors, are primarily done so with the hope that my efforts and my funds will work to reduce and even prevent the deadly consequences of multiple forms of cancer, as well as other debilitating and deadly conditions or diseases," Soon-Shiong told POLITICO.
However, Lloyd Mayer, a Notre Dame law professor specializing in nonprofit law, told POLITICO that such practices are not above board.
“The abuse is taking money that is supposed to be irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes... and using it for other, self-benefiting purposes. [For some private foundations], donors tend to think of the foundation's money as 'their' money, which they can use for any purpose, when in fact it is no longer their money because it can only be used for charitable purposes."