At least one chapter of the messy Salahi saga has now come to a close. Virginia officials announced Tuesday they have reached a settlement with Tareq Salahi over improprieties in the charitable foundation he oversaw, back before he found fame as a short-time reality TV star and the White House’s most famous uninvited guest.
Salahi will pay a $2,500 fine, according to the agreement announced by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, while his now-defunct Journey for the Cure Foundation has been fined $32,500. Salahi’s lawyer, Georgia Rossiter, told us her client agreed to the fines for the sake of settling the matter; under its terms, he does not admit to any wrongdoing.
The charity was just one of many dealings of Tareq and his now-estranged wife Michaele Salahi that drew scrutiny after they walked into the November 2009 White House state dinner. While a congressional committee and a federal grand jury looked into how the fancy-dressed winery entrepreneurs got past security, Virginia officials initiated a separate investigation of their America’s Polo Cup match, which propelled them on the Virginia horse-country social circuit. According to the AG’s filing, officials allege that the charitable arm broke the law by failing to register with the state or keep proper records, and by making false statements to regulators and the public. It also claims “Journey for the Cure” gave less than 1 percent of its expenditures to disease-prevention causes in 2008, devoting huge amounts to overhead. Michaele Salahi was not named as a defendant in the matter.
So much for that. The Salahi legal spotlight now moves on to the couple’s pending divorce and Tareq’s suit against his ex’s new paramour Neal Schon , guitarist for the band Journey, which (coincidence?) once played a “Journey for the Cure” event.
Read earlier: The Salahis and Journey: A video, and a lawsuit, 2/14/12
(Part 1: The party crashers: Turmoil in the White House, 12/21/09; Part 2: The party crashers: Tareq and Michaele Salahi, before they were famous, 12/22/09; Part 3: The party crashers: A trail of accusations leads to Tareq and Michaele Salahi, 12/23/09