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Messner Foundation: Audit Finds No Wrongdoing by Messner Foundation, Demands Retraction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2020

Audit Finds No Wrongdoing by Messner Foundation, Demands Retraction
Tax Filings, Financial Records Accurately Reflect Foundation Operations

Contact: Carmelle Druchniak at carmelle@corkyforsenate.com

Denver, CO – An independent third-party audit of the Messner Foundation by consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal has found no wrongdoing by the foundation or its founder, Bryant “Corky” Messner, the foundation has confirmed.

The audit finds that the Messner Foundation’s tax filings, bank statements and financial records accurately report the financial operations of the foundation.

Law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, on behalf of the Messner Foundation, has also submitted a letter to Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser requesting the dismissal of the complaint.

“I founded the Messner Foundation to provide college scholarships to deserving students from diverse backgrounds to cultivate the next generation of business and community leaders,” said Messner. “What this false attack does, most importantly, is diminish the achievements of the hard-working scholarship recipients, and that’s shameful.”

The unfounded complaint filed in Colorado against Messner and the Messner Foundation falsely alleges that raffle proceeds intended to be used for scholarships were instead used to fund a grant to Colorado Academy, a private school attended by Messner’s children.

The audit confirmed that the grant to Colorado Academy in March 2014 originated from Messner Reeves LLC, and not raffle proceeds.

The foundation’s only source of funds prior to March 2014 was a $100,000 contribution from Messner Reeves LLC in late 2009 used to launch the foundation. The first raffle tickets to benefit the foundation were sold in November 2014, eight months after the grant to Colorado Academy.

Raffle proceeds were used to pay for raffle-related expenses, and beginning in 2016 and in every year since, used to provide scholarship grants. The foundation has never used raffle proceeds for anything other than raffle expenses and scholarship grants.

“The slanderous and unfounded implications within the complaint have been found
categorically false and we expect immediate action from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser to affirm the audit’s findings and thus dismiss the complaint for exactly what it is; damaging to our reputation and business, all in the name of political gamesmanship. The erroneous complaint is nothing more than a political hit job by those with ties to the Democratic Party aimed at derailing my candidacy for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire.”

About the Messner Foundation:
The Messner Foundation identifies deserving high school students who have demonstrated leadership traits and gives those students the resources and connections they need to flourish. The goal of the Messner Foundation is to cultivate the next generation of business and community leaders. For more information, visit www.messnerfoundation.org.

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