Best of TaxLetter: The Church of Hakeem

One of the purposes of the Church of Hakeem is to encourage Church members to experience a change in how they relate to themselves and to money.

Hakeem Abdul Rasheed was the founder, president, and a board member. He claimed that he owned nothing. Everything in his possession was Church property. The Church placed all its property in Rasheed's name, individually. That property included Rolls Royces, Cadillacs, expensive jewelry, furs, a 105 foot yacht (which cost $915,000) and several hundred thousand dollars in bank accounts.

These were necessary, asserted Rasheed, "to inspire followers to believe in the Church and to have confidence in the success of their own lives." The court found, "that explanation defies logic."

IRS determined that Rasheed had converted substantial amounts of the Church's revenue into personally controlled assets. It levied a termination assessment of $1,533,853 against Rasheed and immediately seized the yacht and $921,208 in bank accounts to satisfy his tax liability. (December 1979)


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Created: March 21, 1996; Last updated: January 26, 2004
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