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The center routinely pays the expenses accumulated on Karen’s credit cards, which include a personal Am Ex card with a ,000 limit and, in the past few years, three Bank of America cards with a combined ,000 limit.
The center covers the Berg families’ food, furniture, clothing, gas, nannies, tutors, gardeners, housekeepers, personal assistants, and more exotic indulgences such as luxury cars, first-class flights, and spas.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.
Illustration by Guekit: Nina Berman / Sipa (Philip Berg); Mike Hutchings / Reuters-Landov (Madonna); East News-Polaris (Karen Berg); Amos Gumulira / AFP-Getty Images (Michael Berg); Michelly Rall / Getty Images (sign)One year ago, Madonna squatted in the rust-colored dirt of a sprawling empty lot outside Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world.
According to one complaint, filed in California superior court, Nay ran a study group affiliated with the Kabbalah Centre and also owned a local real-estate firm that granted the center a 10 percent equity position at no cost.
A higher-up at the center allegedly advised a wealthy Kabbalist, Courtenay Geddes, to liquidate an 5,692 trust portfolio and invest it in Nay’s company.
“I want credibility as a philanthropic organization,” Madonna told the ,500-a-plate crowd.
To understand what went wrong, one has to look at Madonna’s partner in the foundation, a mysterious and controversial organization called the Kabbalah Centre International, which is now a focus of federal investigators.
Hamilton will not “confirm or deny the taxability of any of the specific services” and also declines to say whether the chevre, or the Bergs, pay any income taxes.With curious villagers and invited photographers crowding around, she laid the ceremonial first brick for a planned million girls’ academy, a noble mission in a nation where only 27 percent of girls attend secondary school.In a blog post on the website of her Raising Malawi foundation, she wrote that the brick, inscribed with the words “Dare to Dream,” was “not just the bedrock to a school—it is a foundation for our shared future.”Last week it was announced that the future would not be built.A bankruptcy trustee has sued the Centre to recover the .9 million in funds that his complaint says were “wrongfully conveyed” to the Centre. There have also been several civil suits filed recently alleging that the Kabbalah Centre had exploited the trust of wealthy followers in order to pillage their bank accounts.Two of these revolve around Don Nay, a two-time convicted felon.