Financials for Andrew Wakefield’s Strategic Autism Initiative

15 Mar

Non profit organizations in the United States have to file tax forms and those become part of the public record. After leaving Thoughtful House, Andrew Wakefield formed a non-profit called the “Strategic Autism Initiative” (SAI). That was in 2010. The tax forms (form 990) don’t become public right away, so the form for 2010 has been only recently made available, and is available here.

Since the SAI was formed in 2010, we don’t know how much of the year they were paying salaries (for example).

They pulled in $226,000. We know $100k was from Generation Rescue from their form 990.

Wakefield was paid $16,667. But we don’t know for how many months. SAI was formed in 2010, so it is a partial salary. He claims 30 hours/week.

Assume the $16,667 is one month’s salary. That works out to $200k/year at 30 hr/week. That’s the equivalent of nearly $270k for a full-time (40 hour per week) which was his salary at TH before he was let go.

They had three research projects listed. Two seem to be the same–the “Somali project”. They have someone in the UK and someone in Minnesota. They spent about $30k on this project, which is supposed to include prevalence studies in Somalia.

They had three research projects listed. Two seem to be the same–the “Somali project”. They have someone in the UK and someone in Minnesota working on this. They spent about $30k in each location on this project, which is supposed to include prevalence studies in Somalia.

As to the people involved with the SAI:

Andrew Wakefield is president
James Moody is VP
Terri Arranga is secretary
Mark Blaxill is treasurer
Polly Tommy is director
Phil Rawlins is director

Only Wakefield and Arranga are paid (Arranga was paid $2,400 in 2010, listed as putting in 15 hours/week)

They spent $5K in legal fees. $25k in advertising.

It will be interesting to read the 2011 form 990 when that is available. For one thing, this will give salary information for a full year. Also to see how well they do collecting donations. $250k is impressive for a first year. As already noted, $100k is from Generation Rescue. How much of the rest is really just a transfer from other vaccines-caused-an-autism-epidemic orgs is unknown.

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13 Responses to “Financials for Andrew Wakefield’s Strategic Autism Initiative”

  1. Sullivan March 15, 2012 at 18:48 #

    On a side issue–this will be important to the defamation lawsuit that Andrew Wakefield put forth. He has to show that there was potential damage to his earning capacity.

    1) If his income ($/hour) is relatively flat 2010 to 2011, how would one argue that the articles posted by the BMJ caused harm.

    2) If Mr. Wakefield’s primary income comes from an organization which will disregard any criticism of him (especially criticism by Brian Deer and the BMJ), how can he show damage?

    Of course this would all come *after* having to show the statements were defamatory on their face. A burden I believe he will have a difficult time overcoming.

  2. Lawrence March 15, 2012 at 19:22 #

    Good point – if he’s being supported by organizations that are immune to criticism, it is hard to talk about “damage to reputation” especially since, if anything, his reputation with those groups only INCREASES whenever something like this happens.

  3. lilady March 15, 2012 at 19:23 #

    “They had three research projects listed. Two seem to be the same—the “Somali project”. They have someone in the UK and someone in Minnesota. They spent about $30k on this project, which is supposed to include prevalence studies in Somalia.”

    Would this be the “someone” involved with the “Somali Project” in Minnesota?:

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/02/somali-autism-vaccines/

    Here’s a 3 minute video from Fox Television. Toward the end of the video you will hear the name “Handley” mentioned:

    http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/autism-fraud-wakefield-mn-somali-community-jan-6-2011

  4. lilady March 15, 2012 at 19:29 #

    “They had three research projects listed. Two seem to be the same—the “Somali project”. They have someone in the UK and someone in Minnesota working on this. They spent about $30k in each location on this project, which is supposed to include prevalence studies in Somalia.”

    Could this be the “someone” in Minnesota working on the “Somali Project”?

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/02/somali-autism-vaccines/

  5. Visitor March 15, 2012 at 19:31 #

    I cannot help but notice the pitiful ‘research’. Firstly he seems to want to exploit poor blacks, the way he exploited autistic children. Secondly, he wants to find out whether autistic kids get Crohns. Well, that’s an easy one. Yes they do. And how many? Easy. Phone up the parents of the kids who came to the Royal Free in London in the 1990s.

    And who is going to publish anything with his name on it?

  6. Science Mom March 15, 2012 at 20:56 #

    He also lost his post at Thoughtful House prior to Deer’s BMJ series and it wasn’t as though he had any job offers that fell through due to Deer’s articles. So I will be interested in seeing what Wakers presents as evidence that Deer’s articles hindered his employment.

    • Sullivan March 15, 2012 at 21:13 #

      The irony here is that it was projected that if the defamation suit was thrown out on jurisdictional grounds, it would be Mr. Wakefield’s supporters who were disappointed that it didn’t go to trial (or anti-SLAPP hearing as is the likely next step now).

      Now, it appears that those who are *not* supportive of Mr. Wakefield will be the ones disappointed.

      My own speculation is that Mr. Wakefield’s attorney will prepare the papers to dismiss the case and hold them until after the jurisdiction question is addressed. Should the court find that the BMJ, Deer and Godlee can be tried in the Texas court, the dismissal request will get submitted.

  7. lilady March 15, 2012 at 23:46 #

    “They had three research projects listed. Two seem to be the same—the “Somali project”. They have someone in the UK and someone in Minnesota working on this. They spent about $30k in each location on this project, which is supposed to include prevalence studies in Somalia.”

    Could that “someone in Minnesota” who worked on the “Somali Project” be this person?

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/02/somali-autism-vaccines/

  8. sharon March 15, 2012 at 23:58 #

    That Polly Tommy has been coming up a bit lately in youtube clips etc. Iv’e seen. I hadn’t heard of her til last week via an autism awareness campaign.

  9. daedalus2u March 16, 2012 at 01:47 #

    Sullivan, I suspect that they won’t even fight the SLAPP and jurisdiction motions, or will just go through the motions on them, and then complain to their supporters when the Deer et al prevail.

    If they do fight the SLAPP and jurisdiction motions, then there may be a problem with asking the court to dismiss the case if the case goes forward.

  10. Squillo March 16, 2012 at 02:25 #

    I have to wonder (without any relevant legal knowledge) what the judge might make of the Andrew Wakefield legal “justice” fund (which AoA has amusingly referred to as his “legal defense fund”), which at this point appears to be for the purpose of pursuing defamation claims like the Texas action.

    If Deer et al. prevail on the motion, the Texas law requires the judge to award them damages “sufficient to deter the party who brought the legal action from bringing similar actions.” All that money Wakefield’s supporters have been donating could very well wind up in Deer’s, Godlee’s, and the BMJ’s coffers.

  11. Autismum March 24, 2012 at 20:12 #

    Oh the lovely Polly Tommey. Now, who do I love more her or her snake oil peddling husband?
    http://autismum.com/warrior-moms/polly-tommey/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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