Socialite in Petraeus Scandal Ran Bogus Charity

Jill Kelley is also an honorary consul of South Korea
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2012 3:55 AM CST
Woman in Petraeus Scandal Ran Bogus Charity
Jill Kelley leaves her home in Tampa, Fla. yesterday.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The Tampa socialite at the heart of the Petraeus "love Pentagon" sex scandal was the co-founder of a cancer charity that does not appear to have been involved in any charity work, the Huffington Post finds. Jill Kelley and her surgeon husband founded the Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation in 2007, stating that it "shall be operated exclusively to conduct cancer research and to grant wishes to terminally ill adult cancer patients." But records reveal that the charity went bust later that year, having spent every penny of the $157,284 it started with on expenses like parties, entertainment, and travel.

The charity also listed $12,807 for office expenses and supplies, and $7,854 on utilities and telephones, which is a little on the steep side for a charity that operated out of the couple's mansion, the HuffPo notes. But the charity isn't all that's surfaced on Kelley:

  • The mansion where Kelley and her husband threw lavish parties for military top brass has been in foreclosure since 2010, reports the New York Daily News. The couple owes vast sums to banks and credit card companies and has been hit by at least nine lawsuits.
  • Kelley isn't just an unpaid social liaison to nearby MacDill Air Force Base, she's an honorary consul of South Korea, an embassy official tells Foreign Policy. "She assumed this position last August thanks to her good connections and network," the Korean official says, adding that the position is symbolic and has no official responsibilities.
  • Kelley tried to invoke "diplomatic protection" in one of several 911 calls made over the last few days, Fox reports. Complaining about trespassers on her property, Kelley told the dispatcher, "I'm an honorary consul general ... I don't know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well, because that's against the law to cross my property because, you know, it's inviolable."
  • The Wall Street Journal adds that over the summer, Kelley became worried about personal information getting aired and tried to get the FBI to drop its investigation into threatening emails Paula Broadwell sent her. Broadwell, it notes, also sent anonymous emails to military brass bashing Kelley.
(More Jill Kelley stories.)

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