MU Donations Must Be Terror-Free
"Across the country, universities of our size are receiving more and more donations from family foundations," said Linda L'Hote, associate vice chancellor. "This is a vehicle people use because it has some good tax consequences for them."
The federal Patriot Act requires donors to be cross-checked against a long, constantly-updated U.S. Treasury Department watch list. Court orders have frozen assets of those on the list.
In October 2004, police raided the Columbia office of the Islamic American Relief Agency because of suspected terrorist ties. No arrests have been made, but the group's finances remain frozen.
When a contributor requested the United Way in California pass on a donation to MU, the organization also sent a form asking MU to ensure it has not "knowingly provided financial, technical or other material support or resources to a terrorist or terrorist organization."
The organization also wanted to ensure MU does not, will not and has not knowingly provided or collected funds or resources to be used to carry out acts of terrorism. Is it even possible Mizzou could be a haven for terrorist financing?
"I would like to say publicly and privately, not at all," said L'Hote. "But, having said that, you still have to be in compliance with the compliance procedures."
Although the United Way form passed on to the University looks and reads like a federal document, it isn't. The U.S. Treasury Department confirmed Tuesday that the document is not one of its.
Matt Wynn of the Columbia Missourian contributed to this story.