Gregg Phillips, the conservative activist cited by Donald Trump as “an authority on voter fraud” is facing a barrage of criticism after being exposed as a fraud himself.
IRS records obtained by The Guardian, show Phillips owes the US government more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes. The conservative activist is also being accused of lying about his qualifications when applying to state government jobs and faces several allegations of ethical impropriety, according to the report.
Phillips, a former stockbroker and Republican fundraiser, claims three million votes in the 2016 election were ‘illegal’, but doesn’t provide any proof.
His unfounded claim was championed in a tweet by Trump on Friday morning, as the new administration prepares to launch what he says will be “a major investigation into voter fraud.” Trump tweeted:
Phillips is also accused of failing to pay child support. As expected, he denied the allegations.
The 56-year-old conservative became popular among Trump supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign for his blatant statements on Twitter. He claims to have been building a database of all voter registrations in the US with location details since 2009, but has declined to make his findings public.
While he enjoys ranting online about excessive government spending, Phillips owes the federal government $100,961 in unpaid income taxes, according to a lien filed by the IRS in Manatee County, Florida, in 2014. An official at the county clerk’s office said the outstanding sum had not been paid. In a text message on Friday, Phillips said: “I am in a disagreement with the IRS over income taxes. The amount owed is less than $100,000.”
Additionally, Phillips reportedly lied on his job application, saying that he majored in “finance” for his degree. But records from the University of Alabama showed that in fact he majored in transportation. On Friday, Phillips said: “My degree is a bachelor of science in commerce and business administration,” according to multiple press reports.
As the Guardian states, “state investigators then wrote another scathing report on Phillips after he resigned from the job in 1995. Phillips had immediately taken an $84,000-a-year job with a corporation to which his department had previously awarded a state workforce training contract worth $878,000.
In 2003, Phillips took a job as the second-in-command in Texas’s own human services department, where he was put in charge of a drastic privatization of many services. An investigation by the Houston Chronicle in 2005 alleged that Phillips had been involved in awarding tens of millions of dollars worth of state contracts to companies with which he was personally linked.”
After he left the Texas state administration, Phillips’s new company AutoGov won a no-bid contract worth at least $207,000 in public funds to work on fixing the error-plagued computerized welfare system that Phillips had implemented. The Dallas Morning News described the problematic setup as “the state’s biggest privatization fiasco,” according to The Guardian.