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Slavery museum asks for extension

MORE: National Slavery Museum timeline and archives

BY CHELYEN DAVIS

RICHMOND—The lawyer for the bankrupt U.S. National Slavery Museum wants more time for the museum to file tax returns for four years.

Sandra Robinson, the museum’s lawyer in its bankruptcy case, had told U.S. District Judge Douglas O. Tice Jr. that a new accountant hired by the museum would file tax returns for the years 2008 through 2011.

Those returns must be filed, Robinson said, before the museum can apply to the state to renew its authorization to solicit charitable donations. The museum let that authorization lapse in 2008.

The new accountant was supposed to file the tax returns by Tuesday. But in a document filed with the court, Robinson asked for a 30-day extension.

She did so, she wrote, because accountant William Allen Jones Jr. has had trouble getting the relevant financial information from the museum’s former accountant.

 

In arguing for the extension, Robinson pointed out that Jones did file on Monday an analysis of the museum’s 2005 tax return, when it hadn’t been due until mid-February.

Jeffrey Scharf, the lawyer for the city of Fredericksburg, had raised questions about that 2005 tax return, saying it seemed to have a $1.6 million discrepancy.

In his filing this week, Jones said the money was properly accounted for—it primarily went to design and construction firms for the museum building, which was never built.

The museum has until the end of February to also file a plan to reorganize and pay off its $7 million in debt.

The museum was to be built in Fredericksburg on donated land, but no construction ever started.

 Former Gov. Doug Wilder, who was the driving force behind the museum, filed for bankruptcy for the museum last fall.

Chelyen Davis:  804/343-2245

cdavis@freelancestar.com

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