Why did Dr. Phil Give $600,000 to Anthony Charity?

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Anthony Parents
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July 2, 2012; Source: Orlando Sentinel

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Dr. Phil got Cindy and George Anthony, the parents of Casey Anthony and the grandparents of Caylee Anthony, to appear on his eponymous television show last September. Were they paid? The Sentinel doesn’t say so, but it reports on a People magazine article that says that Dr. Phil McGraw did pay $600,000 to Caylee’s Fund. Was it a quid pro quo or did McGraw simply happen to feel motivated to contribute to the charity at around the same time that the elder Anthonys appeared on his show?

As of last month, the charity was dissolved, with $100,000 left in its coffers that was distributed to three other charities according to the grandparents’ attorney, Mark Lippman. People believes that the McGraw payment went to support Casey Anthony who, as everyone knows, was acquitted of her daughter’s murder.

Actually, papers [PDF] dissolving the entity known as Caylee’s Fund Foundation were filed with the Florida Secretary of State in May, signed by Lippman the attorney as its registered agent, based on a vote of the “members” of the corporation on May 22, 2012. The articles of incorporation for the fund, filed on July 19, 2011, establishing it as a “Florida not-for-profit” corporation are a little thin – just one page. The articles say the fund is “exclusively for charitable purposes that qualifies (sic) under IRC ss. 501(c)(3), including advocating for grandparents rights with regard to grandchildren and assisting grandparents of missing, neglected, or exploited grandchildren.”

If Casey Anthony received any money from the fund, it would violate Article VII in the amended articles of incorporation, filed August 2011, which disallowed any of the earnings of the fund to go “to its directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the Corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered …”

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Let’s set the timeline. Caylee’s Fund is created as a Florida not-for-profit July 2011. The interview with George and Cindy Anthony is shown on Dr. Phil’s TV show in three parts, beginning on September 13, 2011, followed by Part 2 on September 14 and Part 3 on September 19 .The trustees of Caylee’s Fund then vote to dissolve the entity in May of 2012, meaning that the charity was alive less than a calendar year. Presumably, if People magazine is correct, McGraw made a payment of $600,000 to the fund during the Fund’s brief 10-month lifespan. On the show, McGraw said that the Anthonys were not being paid for their appearance. The website for Caylee’s Fund is down.

Caylee’s Fund isn’t the first of the Anthony family’s charities. Another foundation with Cindy Anthony as the nominal contact, the Caylee Marie Anthony Foundation, is reportedly defunct, though it is listed by Guidestar as a 501(c)(3), albeit without a Form 990 posted and in the IRS Publication 78 as a (c)(3) public charity still legally available to receive tax deductible contributions. This foundation is widely believed to have been used to fund an “inmate commissary account” for Casey Anthony, an account from which an incarcerated person (as Casey was during her trial) can purchase clothing, soaps and shampoos, food stuffs and candy from the commissary provider in the jail. Caylee’s Fund doesn’t appear as a 501(c)(3) in Publication 78, which is the authoritative list of IRS-approved charities.

The Casey Anthony trial created a subculture that need not be revived here. But the brief and all too vague history of Caylee’s Fund as well as the other Caylee foundation creates an impression of a none too salutary charitable endeavor.—Rick Cohen

  • Robert_Frank

    Please sign & share this petition, created 4/14/12, to have Casey Anthony tried by the federal government. The petition addresses the DOJ policy that guides them in determining whether or not to bring federal charges against someone who was previously tried by a state.


    Or go to change.org and search for BREUER

  • Jonathan

    Wild guess here but I’m gonna guess that in lieu of a guest fee they requested a donation to the charity instead.Just a guess which is all anyone not in the know can do. Seems instead of a charity. the powers that be wanted to enact a needless law. But then that is the way our country works now.So instead of a charity in Caylee’s name that could be used to help other endangered children, a law is passed that is virtually useless. I wonder which one Caylee would have preferred to have her name associated with?

  • David L Cook

    Thank you for posting this article. We the People seeking Justice for Caylee Marie have made numerous attempts at getting these fake funds and foundations that were set up by Cindy Anthony investigated. The first Fund they paid themselves 2 million dollars and bought a boat. They helped NO ONE with the funds in that account. The Second one they learned rather well how to scam the system and how to dance on Caylee’s Grave rather well. The huge donation and a new Jeep got their home out of foreclosure status and as stated above most likely went to the alleged murderer of Caylee Marie. The State of Florida has FAILED to set up any kind of a trust for this child and because of their failure it has opened the door wide open for her own family to take advantage of her murder and to PROFIT off her murder. We have written letters to the State of Florida Attorney General Bill McCullom and the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Commerce. We currently have a petition that will be going to them as well. If you could assist in letting us know who we can contact as this truly needs to be investigated We have created an entire site concerning these matters of the Anthonys dancing on the grave of Caylee Marie. You listed a violation above and I strongly agree with you they have misused this money from Day one and they have thus far gotten away with it. We need to get someone’s attention and get these matters investigated. This is WRONG…and they have NO right to PROFIT off the murder of this child and to funnel money to her alleged killer. Please contact me via email if you have an advice or ideas on who we can contact to get these matters investigated and to hold those accountable who have violated this child’s rights and best interest. Thanks We the People seeking Justice for Caylee Marie.

  • Kay

    Finally, this is receiving some attention from nonprofit watchers !
    I worked for a foundation, & questioned the legality of the 3 “fraudations” created by the Anthonys since the first arrest, of at least 3 separate arrests on varying charges on, but not limited to, fraud/forgery, child neglect, & filicidal Capital murder, of their daughter Casey Anthony. The first “fraudation” was arranged through Sun Trust Bank between July 17-21, 2008, & was used by the elder Anthonys, who’d filed bankruptcy in April 2008 I believe, to channel funds directly from donations to their daughter’s lawyer, Jose Baez. It was dissolved by July 21, 2008. The elder Anthonys retained Mark NeJame & he filed the papers for their 2nd foundation. They were going on media culling donations from the public, & having them sent to their son, Lee Anthony, for him to deposit in his bank account, so they could circumvent bankruptcy court & use the donations from the public to pay their bills & lift them out of bankruptcy eventually. Mark NeJame quit as the elder Anthony’s attorney in Nov or Dec 2008, & they retained a lawyer who’d failed to get elected as Judge who had an office down the hall from Mark NeJame, Brad Conway. Mark Lippman managed the elderly Anthony’s home foreclosure, & apparently advised them to quit paying their mortgage as of Sept 2009 though the elder Anthonys took a cruise with their son & his then-girlfriend Mallory Parker & another friend, & the elder Anthonys got large, expensive looking, commemorative “Caylee” tattoos which they showed off during their cruise, & got their foreclosure resolved ahead of many other Floridians 6 mos later. Eventually Brad Conway quit representing them out of a squabble w/Jose Baez, who’d lied about nagging Brad Conway to get access to TES documents that were kept in TES’s lawyer’s office (Mark NeJame) & to plant a tampered document in the TES files for Baez. Mark Lippman was subsequently retained by the elder Anthonys as their criminal attorney in place of Brad Conway, & Cindy Anthony visited a private wealth manager just about the time Mark Lippman announced in the press (all immediately post-verdict) that 3rd foundation was being created by the elder Anthony’s. The elder Anthonys subsequently took a private plane trip with their new friends, the CEO of Quinco Electric & his wife (his wife being a friend of Cheney Mason’s on the Board of an Arizona retirement home), to the Bahamas for a long weekend. The Bahamas are known for their offshore accounts used for US tax shelters & US tax evaders. After this, the Dr. Phil show was taped & aired. Less than 1 year later, the 3rd foundation is dissolved. jmho

  • Kay

    There is no doubt in my mind that the elder Anthonys are using the 3 foundations they’ve created in 3 years to launder money, to line their pockets with the public’s donations, use other immediate family members to hide public donations from & media’s “checkbook journalism” payments for appearances on tv shows like ABC/Good Morning America, ABC/48 Hrs Mystery, Larry King Live, NBC/Today Show, NBC/Dateline, CBS/Dr Phil Show, from bankruptcy court, & the IRS. They’ve laundered money from various sources to their adult daughter’s criminal attorney(s). The adult daughter was paid for her alleged victim, Caylee, images by ABC in the amount of $205,000 in 2008, & owed the IRS $68,000, yet the adult alleged babykiller circumvented the IRS by using her parents & the “fraudation” foundation. Also, other individuals in Florida have been charged with defrauding the public for their fake cancer schemes, yet when the elder Anthonys & Jose Baez went on air to publicize “an alive, missing” Caylee Anthony, while they & Casey Anthony (the alleged babykiller), claim Caylee was dead the entire time, they aren’t charged with fraud ! Cindy Anthony went to California using public donations to “investigate sightings” & Jose Baez castigated police for “withholding tips of sightings”, yet in court Baez clearly stated that he knew Caylee was already dead, & Sunshine Law releases of discovery clearly showed emails between Baez & his private investigator Dominick Casey, & all of Dominick Casey’s goons (one worked for Northrup Grumman in VA but was fired for cause, one was an alleged “psychic”) conjured up in a conspiracy to create fake “sightings” that Baez would then pass on to his hispanic buddy in media, Geraldo, & in his frequent pressers. No action taken by the FL Bar for his unprofessional & unethical conduct, no action taken by LE against his PIs for manufacturing lies & perpetuating lies on the public, no action taken against the elder Anthony’s for their complicity in this fraud of an “alive, but missing” child. I don’t get it, I really don’t.
    Finally, Mr. Cohen, you write on a topic that sorely needs investigating, IMO. jmho


    This $600K to the fraudation was nothing more than a slush fund….dividing it up between Cindy+George and their evil spawn. I say to the IRS: INVESTIGATE THIS MONEY!!

    To Dr. Phil:
    I am SO disappointed in you……It would have been so much classier of you to say “we will monitor what Cindy and George do with this contribution to the foundation” THIS IS YOUR NAME BEING ASSOCIATED WITH FRAUD!!!! Don’t you care about how your name is trashed??

  • Jane

    THANK YOU ! Rich Cohen Please continue your research for the TRUTH

  • jenni shinn

    As someone who has always liked Dr Phil, it bothers me that he hasn’t publicly addressed this, once and for all. He always tells people to “get real “. It’s time for him to follow his own advice. If he was taken advantage of, just say so. People get scammed all of the time. But to say nothing at all…it just fuels the speculation fires.

  • niccole

    on cindy anthonys twitter page, she states teh monies went for therapy, bathroom supplies(dont get that one entirely), and debts. My concern, which I hoenstly am over, is that we all knew this was going into their pockets and was smoke screened as a “fund”. this being the case, this opens teh door for so many others to take advantage of the irs, and funds, in other words, to “set up a charitiy” in order to get free money and again to skate around taxes. WHY is this not being brought in front of someone, think of the elderly man(my own lame example), who lives on disability, but made a few hundred dollars, and is now in trouble with teh irs. think about it, tehy will take down the ones not getting by , but yet, these people, can do this and not get into any trouble.not right.

  • rick cohen

    the obvious entity to address your question is the Florida Attorney General’s office and the charity officer in that office. One would think that the various news stories about the Anthony charity, with or without Dr.Phil, would trigger someone there to take a look, right?

  • janielane

    Has anyone contacted the IRS regarding their misuse of these funds? Please let me know when you get the petition going. I would like to sign it!

  • Pru

    What has this now defunct charity got to do with Caylee’s Law or a version of it that would make it an offence not to report the death or disappearance of a child. And where did the 600K go. Im guessing that’s what the author of this article is asking. Is tax avoidance that easy in Florida? Can anyone simply create what for the Anthonys would be redundant Foundation No 2 , dissolve it after approx 10 months, and then keep the tax free residual in its coffers? Would seem the answer is yes.

  • Pru

    Yep his silence is deafening, so Im thinking Dr Phil was not scammed . I believe that in his eagerness to get this interview he allowed a conventient “we can dissolve this not for profit 501C Charity any time we like and what’s left in the account is ours. He simply chose not to share that part with his viewers. The interview was done outwith his usual live studio audience. It was imo heavily edited with questions pre-agreed. And I’d bet my paycheck that Lawyer Lippman was always just a few feet away.

  • farvian2

    Where’s the other $500K?


    It;s been apparent since Day 1 that The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s no wonder Casey turned out the way she did. Look at her role models.


    I hope it’s revealed as to who the 600k went to …. it sure sounds shady,