Tariq, Michaele Salahi Charity Scam Tied To America's Polo Cup
Tareq and Michaele Salahi rocketed to fame last week as the White House party crashers. As time goes on, it appears that crashing the White House State Dinner (something they fervently deny), might be the least of their problems as they appear to be part of a charity scam involving America's Polo Cup.
Tareq and Michaele Salahi present themselves as Virginia-area socialites and philanthropists. They even run their own charity. It turns out the charity, at the US polo tournament that served as a fundraiser, may not be entirely above board.
Tareq Salahi was heavily involved with a D.C. charitable polo event called the Courage Cup, an event that drew luminaries such as Bill Clinton, John McCain, Prince Charles, and Oprah Winfrey. The Salahis worked with New York Representative Greg Ball to organize the event. Ball allegedly used some of the funds from the Courage Cup to fund his own political campaign.
Tareq and Michaele Salah used photos of themselves with celebrities at the Courage Cup to market his new America's Polo Cup event. The new polo tournament pits the US vs India and is sponsored by companies such as Land Rover, which is owned by India's Tata Motors. Among confirmed guests are representatives from the Embassy of India in the United States, including Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar.
The America's Cup of Polo was designed as a fundraiser for the Journey for the Cure Foundation, a charity created by Tareq and Michaele Salahi that claims to raise funds for MS and leukemia.
However, it appears that the Journey for the Cure Foundation may be a scam. The state of Virginia warned consumers about the Journey For The Cure Foundation. A Virginia-based newspaper revealed that the charity did not submit financial records about fundraising contracts to the State Corporation Commission.
According to one insider, other charities associated with the America's Polo Cup did not receive any funds from the event. Some event vendors have not been paid. Salahi and the America's Polo Cup were sued for $300,000 by Market Salamander, a caterer in Middleburg, in 2008, alleging nonpayment of services.
One person believes that just as Tareq and Michaele Salahi used celebrity photos from the Courage Cup to market the America's Cup of Polo, the couple wanted to use their now infamous photos from the Obama State Dinner to sell the polo tourney.
Speaking of taking photos with celebrities to gain legitimacy. Not only did Tareq and Michaele allegedly lie to Federal officials to gain access to the State Dinner, but they were snapping photos like a tourist at Disney World while they were there. They are smooth operators. Those photos weren’t taken just to “FaceBrag”. I would bet that they were taken with the intent to mislead the general public about the nature of their upcoming USA vs. India polo match, in the same way that photos taken with Prince Charles led the public to believe the Queen of England would attend USA vs. England. They want ticket purchasers to think that they are really on a mission to have a “cultural exchange” with India and that they are working closely with the Indian government. They also want the general public to assume that the people in the photos are supporting their cause, their event, and may actually show up.
Indeed, the Obama State Dinner would have been the perfect place for the Salahis to take photos with celebrities. As noted, the dinner was filled with US politicians and celebrities as well as many Indian politicians and celebrities.
Since I was doing event planning and other work for Innocents at Risk, I had to “make nice” and attend the America’s Cup of Polo on behalf of Innocents at Risk. I was extremely skeptical, and warned Innocents at Risk about the Salahi’s. As far as I know, Innocents at Risk never received money from the foundation aside from Tareq and Michaele using the charity’s credit card to attend a fundraiser. As a matter of fact, Innocents at Risk was asked to pay $2500 America’s Cup to attend the event! The State of Virginia has warned the public about the Salahi’s Journey for the Cure Foundation. The Salahi’s were even able to dupe Loudoun County, Virginia into giving them $136,500 of hard-earned tax-payer dollars. You can check out the spin they used to convince the county.