Why did HALC stop filing tax returns in 2018?
By Nick Stamatakis
At the beginning of March, a report by Kalami.us (link here) posed some dire questions that are still open as those directly involved “whistled indifferently” and pretended they lived on another planet. But they live among us, either here or in Greece, and they pretend to be “lobbyists”, and “Gods from the machine” (“Deus ex machina”), who were the ones who affected U.S. Foreign Policy and stopped the sale of the F-35 Fighter Jets to Turkey, among many other serious claims. We will recapitulate the allegations as follows, and hopefully, this time, the Greek-American community and everybody else will receive an answer:
QUESTION #1: Is HALC (Hellenic American Leadership Council), still in operation? If so, why have they not filed tax returns since 2018? Is it maybe the fact that some of their revenue is in the form of a loan or loans, and as such, they may be subject to taxation? (Please link here for some basic numbers for HALC).
QUESTION #2: Why do Mr. Zemenides and the “journalists” who closely support him, claim or give the impression that HALC is a lobbying organization? Mr. Zemenides’ company, as a 501(c)4, according to the law, can do “lobbying” – as a primary activity – ONLY for “social welfare” issues, i.e., helping the homeless, the needy, etc… If he wants to claim that he is a “lobbyist,” Mr. Zemenidis must explain in which country he is declared as such. If he is a “lobbyist” to promote national issues and interests of other countries, e.g., Greece and Cyprus, he must be registered as a foreign lobbyist, and so far, he is not. Organizations that lobby the federal government may be subject to the federal Lobby Disclosure Act (LDA). The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, as amended (LDA), is a federal lobbying statute administered by Congress that applies to legislative and executive branch contacts. The LDA does not apply to state or local lobbying. The LDA requires registration and then disclosure of certain lobbying activities, including the issues lobbied, individual lobbyists, and lobbying costs. LDA violations are subject to fines of up to $200,000 per violation and, in some cases, up to 5 years in prison. The LDA is a companion statute to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended (FARA).
QUESTION #3: The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) does not exist in the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records. The relevant reference, in databases, says: ”This organization is not registered with the IRS”. Their last tax return was for 2018 (look at it carefully in the link above; it has substance). Revenue increased every year. About $200,000 and Zemenides’ salary.
QUESTION #4: Also noteworthy is that George Tsounis, now the US ambassador to Greece, appears in the company as vice president (2018). Is Mr. Tsunis today HALC’s vice president?
The Greek-American community deserves some answers from those who are supposed to represent us in Washington D.C. The days of silence are over…
DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.