Corruption is an institution, and no institution is above corruption, not even the Friars Club.
According to an exclusive report from Page Six, federal agents spent the majority of the day on Monday carting evidence out of the legendary Friars Club in Manhattan. The evidence was related to an investigation surrounding the misappropriation of funds by the club’s charitable nonprofit organization, Friars National Association Foundation Inc. (FNAF).
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which handles cases of mail fraud and money laundering, conducted the probe in response to a 2016 report indicating that the FNAF spent a whopping $1.6+ million on a 2014 charity event in Washington D.C. called the Lincoln Awards. In addition, $374,058 was paid to MBM Entertainment, founded by Michael Matuza, who helped produce the event. That same year, only a measly $198,200 in charitable grants was doled out by the Friars Foundation.
According to Club Board of Director’s member John Catsimatidis, the investigation kicked off when a Friars member spoke to the feds after attending a meeting, along with a group of 20 others, including club treasurer Fred Klein. This wasn’t the first time that somebody has blown the whistle against the Friars Club, either; Comedy writer Carol Scibelli publicly claimed that she was suspended from the club and removed from her seat on various Friars committees after “asking too many questions about finances.”
“As members, we didn’t have any transparency with the finances of the club,” she said at the time. “We got a lot of answers that didn’t make any sense.”
It’s unclear how this will effect the daily goings-on at the club; their website makes no indication of the issue, and no official response has come from the club thus far.