Feed The Children has disclosed for the first time that it paid $800,000 to its former president, Larry Jones, after he was fired in 2009.
The Oklahoma City-based charity reported Jones received “a severance payment” during fiscal year 2012.
The tax-exempt organization disclosed the payment in a 204-page return posted on its website. It filed the return with the Internal Revenue Service.
The Oklahoman has learned the payment was made to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Jones the day after he was fired on Nov. 6, 2009. The charity paid an additional amount in legal fees to Jones' attorney, Mark Hammons.
The charity has made significant steps to recover from the negative publicity that surrounded Jones' departure. It has been active since last week in relief efforts for Oklahoma tornado victims.
The charity's total revenue was up for the 2012 fiscal year — to almost $621 million, according to an independent auditor's report also posted on its website. Most of that revenue came from in-kind gifts.
The charity's total revenue for the 2011 fiscal year was $451 million, according to the independent auditor's report for that year.
Jones became the face of the Oklahoma City-based Christian relief organization he founded.
Feed The Children became known nationwide, primarily from Jones' heart-wrenching television appeals for funds to feed starving children.
The charity now takes a different approach to raise funds.
After he sued over his firing, Feed The Children countersued and accused him of a series of misdeeds including taking bribes.
He denied the accusations.