Andrew Yang’s Non-Profit Organization Venture for America only gave 5-percent to actual businesses, while most of the money that was received went to non-essential operational costs and travel-related expenses, newly discovered Tax Documents show.
Yang, a Democrat newcomer vying in a crowded 2020 Democratic field, has amassed a cult-like following on internet message boards and forums since the winter of this year. While he only stands at 2-percent in most national and state polls, he has recently qualified for the second round of democratic debates scheduled for Houston in September.
His signature proposal, a “freedom dividend” would guarantee Americans over the age of 18, regardless of background, race or other unique feature, $1,000 a month with no taxes taken out. Yang says the proposal would not only spawn new business and rid companies of automation, but also “empower women to leave exploitable jobs” that they currently serve in.
Most of his proposals are part of his new take on “Human-based capitalism” that looks to survey the wellbeing of people in the nation rather than the economic factors of the country. These new proposals also stem from his self-proclaimed philanthropy work with “Venture for America,” a non-profit organization founded by Yang in 2011 to focus on entrepreneurialism opportunities and to help start-up businesses in select communities across America.
However, newly-founded tax documents obtained by ghost.report show that the non-profit has failed to give out at least 10-percent of the money raised to businesses, with most of the fundraising money going to the payroll, travel expenses and occupancy costs. In addition, most of the donors are from high-profile wall-street businesses such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Quicken Loans, America Express, Bank of America and Comcast NBCUniversal among high-profile donors.
In addition, Yang’s non-profit recruits “fellows” to attend a five-week camp to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and get support from the VFA community and organization, but most of the money, again, does not go to start-ups based from VFA.
Ghost.report also found Patents pertaining to Yang’s father that, with some dating back as far as the 90s, focused on “Liquid Crystal touchscreens” filed on behalf of a Taiwan-based company.
Venture for America
Venture for America, Yang’s flagship non-profit, mainly seeks out college-aged students who are interested in entrepreneurship and wish to start their own companies. Over the last 8 years, the program has created an estimated 130 companies with a small-handed amount of 450 jobs with $80 million in investment during that time. Most of the companies that fellows head into are companies that have already existed before the inception of VFA, or fellows that start their own companies fail to grow to over 50 staff.
To make matters worse, however, is that newly obtained 990 non-profit forms for Venture For America shows that the company earns multi-million figures a year since 2013, but less than 10% a year actually go to start-ups that were founded by their fellows.
One document, dated for the 2014 fiscal year, shows that VFA earned over $4 Million for the year, but had only given $24,000 in grants, with less than half going to VFA-based start-ups, and over a million dollars in salaries and wages, with over a quarter-million dollars going to travel for the fellows to go to the training camp.
Yang also took over $150,000 in salary, and also invested in public companies not specified within the document.
Another document from 2016 shows that the non-profit made over $5 Million in donations from numerous wall-street donors, but only gave $250,000 in grants, half of them going back to their own non-profit. $750,000 went to Travel, and $250,000 in office occupancy. In addition, $2 million went to wages and salaries. Out of the $7 million in expenditures, less than 5 percent went to businesses.
Yang made nearly $300,000 during the year. He left the organization in March of 2017 to consider his presidential run.
In addition, a 2016 financial audit statement shows that “Personnel costs” or salaries and benefits, constituted nearly fifty-percent of the expenditure budget. The company’s cash flow saw that the company had over $1 million in cash at hand, and just under $5 million in net assets, while $50,000 went to unidentified public companies and spent $1.5 million on “counseling and professional fees.”
A 2013 annual report also shows that the cash flows increased significantly from $150,000 in 2012 to $3.25 million as big named companies such as American Express, Barclay’s LinkedIn, Anonymous donors and other wall-street individuals donated to VFA.
Despite his claims that the venture was to help “underperforming communities in America through entrepreneurship,” The non-profit targeted college kids already studying or majoring in business to help jump-star their businesses, with most of the start-up’s never gaining massive ground. Most businesses are in select cities on the east coast and focus on app coding, and specifically target those with up-to-date technologies and requiring coders and other techies to participate in businesses, effectively singling out communities that have little technology.
Despite concerns about his non-profit, Then-President Obama invited Yang to the White house as a “Champion of Change” in 2012. He was also named a “Global Ambassador” of Obama’s entrepreneurship push in 2015.
Yang’s Father: Kei-Hsiung Yang
In addition, Yang’s father, Kei-Hsiung Yang, was is a former employee of General Electric and IBM, both major engineering companies within the United States. He also worked at Hannstar, a Taiwan-based company specializing in the development of most notebooks, computers and televisions within the United States.
With some of the patents dating back to the early 70s, most focused on the development of the modern x-ray systems found in hospitals today. Dating until the late 90s to early 2000s, He then held numerous patents in the development of liquid-crystal based technologies, which is now found in most technologies today.
However, at some point, Yang left the IBM and began working at HannStar Display, and continued filing patents with refined and improved LCD technologies, with one in 2004 talking about the use of these liquid crystals to project images and pixelized these crystals. One filed in 2007 with similar language, but also talking about the use of the LCD for touch-screen technology, which was first put into the mainstream with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007.
Other recent patents update these technologies from the late 70s and are filed with the Taiwanese corporation, as opposed to GE or IBM. It is possible, given evidence, that Kei-Hsiung had taken Intellectual Property from the US and passed it off to Taiwan for financial gain for his company.
Kei-Hsiung is also listed as a donor to his son’s campaign as part of the first 1,000 donors to donate the maximum $2,700 amount. He is also listed as an “inventor.” All of his works are listed under the National Chiao Tung University | NCTU on Researchgate, with extensive research in the development of LCD for future use and X-Ray technology in China.
Andrew Yang also worked with Zeke Vanderhoek to found Manhattan Prep., which focuses on test preparation for the GMAT, LSAT and other standardized tests. Yang amassed an $11 million valuation of the company before selling it to Kaplan Inc.
Yang has not commented publicly about his business ventures, nor his non-profit during the campaign trail, despite boasting an entrepreneurship-based background to fuel his campaign and push his flagship $1,000 a month UBI proposal. Yang has also not disclosed his past relationship with Obama’s administration, but continues to vie for the 2020 nomination.
It is Ghost.Report’s opinion that Andrew Yang’s public narrative is a complete fraud. His “entrepreneurial background” only show’s that he’s financially gained through public and non-profit ventures. And just as Yang has manipulated the public and non-profit sectors, his 2020 Presidential is yet another scheme to obtain “tax-free” revenue to either launder through his non-profit organization and/or start his own Super PAC (just follow the money when he doesn’t get the nomination).