Denver lawyer accused of charity fraud by former Colorado Supreme Courtroom justices


Two former Colorado Supreme Courtroom justices have requested state investigators to look into what they declare are the fraudulent actions of a outstanding Denver lawyer who’s operating for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire.
In a grievance filed Tuesday, the previous justices joined a number of different Coloradans in alleging that Bryant “Corky” Messner of Messner Reeves LLP broke the regulation when his charity raised $200,000 at a raffle in 2015 to fund scholarships for underprivileged highschool college students however didn’t present scholarships that yr.
“The Messner Basis and its president, Corky Messner, swindled each the underprivileged college students in Colorado it was promising to assist, in addition to the entire individuals who bought tickets for its 2015 raffle believing their cash was going towards a great trigger,” the five-page grievance to 2 state businesses alleges.
The grievance suggests Messner dedicated charitable fraud, a felony in Colorado, by claiming in a press launch and promotional materials that proceeds from the raffle of a Tesla car that yr would profit low-income college students.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Workplace says its enterprise and licensing division will examine however declined to remark additional. The Colorado Legal professional Basic’s Workplace declined to touch upon the allegations Tuesday.
“The grievance is a political hoax with no authorized foundation or benefit,” stated Mike Biundo, a senior adviser for the Messner marketing campaign. He known as it “a transparent try to obscure the great work that the Messner Basis has completed.”
Messner is a number one Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, the place his charity’s funds and his longtime Colorado residency have come beneath hearth as that state’s September main attracts nearer. If Messner wins the Republican main, he’ll face Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, in November.
Messner has owned a house in New Hampshire for 13 years however didn’t register to vote there till 2018 and launched his exploratory committee from Denver, main Republican opponents to name him a carpetbagger and interloper. The enterprise regulation agency Messner based started in Denver however now has places of work in a number of cities.
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The Washington Publish discovered Messner — a multimillionaire who was a prime lawyer for Chipotle — began the Messner Basis in 2009 and has raised cash for it by raffling off luxurious autos. However its first donation, in 2014, was to the elite, personal Colorado Academy for a baseball discipline, not a scholarship.
It has given just one scholarship, value about $48,000, to College of Denver pupil Majarlika Diane Villaruel-Mariano, in response to tax filings analyzed by the Washington Publish. The Messner marketing campaign advised the newspaper that Villaruel-Mariano has obtained further cash not but reported, making her scholarship value about $78,000, and {that a} second pupil is now receiving a scholarship.
“Because of the assist from the Messner Basis, I would be the first in my household to graduate with a school diploma,” Villaruel-Mariano stated in an announcement supplied by the Messner marketing campaign Tuesday. She is going to graduate with a grasp’s diploma in accounting and plans to be a licensed public accountant, the assertion says.
Tuesday’s grievance was filed by six folks: Mary Mullarkey, a former chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Courtroom; Jean Dubofsky, a former Colorado Supreme Courtroom justice and deputy legal professional basic; Josie Heath, former president of the Neighborhood Basis of Boulder County; Adele Phelan, former president of the Clayton Basis; Tom Korson, a retired minister married to Mullarkey; and Rollie Heath, a former state senator.
A minimum of 5 of the six have direct connections to Democratic politics. Mullarkey and Dubofsky had been appointed by Democratic governors and Korson is a volunteer for Denver Democrats. Heath, of Boulder, was a Democratic lawmaker and his spouse, Josie, is a former delegate to the Democratic Nationwide Conference.


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