Kabbalah Centre at Heart of Tax Probe
Ex-CFO aims to 'bring down' operation
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 6, 2011 1:14 PM CDT
Madonna attends the 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty' Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2011 in New York City.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles is taking center stage as details emerge on a federal probe involving two of Madonna’s charities. The IRS is investigating whether the family in charge of the organization used its nonprofit dollars for personal gain, sources tell the Los Angeles Times. The Berg family, the Centre, and the singer’s Raising Malawi charity all face a grand jury probe.

The investigation started last year, insiders say, and documents in question include an email from August 2010; in it, a former CFO for the Centre says he was fired for calling attention to fishy financial dealings and suggesting the organization was headed toward “suicide.” He cites “instances of income tax fraud” and writes that he has “little choice but to cooperate with the IRS and bring down the entire Kabbalah Centre.” Subpoenas also cite probes at businesses overseen by the Berg family. Madonna herself isn’t cited.