Exclusive: Bristol Youth Football Non profit Status “Revoked,” Says IRS, as Organization Continues to Collect Funds
Pt -1 Why this happened
On Friday afternoon, while working on a different version of this story, Lower Bucks Source contacted the president of the Bristol Wildcats Youth Football Association asking for documentary proof of Non-profit status.
The message was sent to Chris Chapman who is the president of the youth football association at 11:25 am that day.
The reason for the message at the time, was a specific comment made by Bristol Borough School District attorney, David Truelove.
Truelove in response to questions about allegations Chapman made – the school district is charging us $30,000 to use the practice and playing fields at Bristol High School and the adjacent field..
First, Truelove refuted Chapman’s claim.
“Mr. Chapman”, he said, has yet to submit a completed facilities use form. School district business manager Chris McHugh sent Chris the forms needed to be filled out, and he has yet to respond.
Chapman and the school district provided Lower Bucks Source e-mail exchanges verifying the non response to the district’s request.
The number Chapman came up with, school district officials say, is simply hypothetical.
“It’s not a real number. We don’t know what we’re going to charge Chris to use the fields because he has yet to return a completed facilities use permit form, School Board President David Chick said Friday.
Back to Truelove…..
The school district lawyer, continued his comments;
We don’t want to displace the youth football league but Chris needs to show the Wildcats are a viable organization and that he actually is 501 C-3 non-profit.
“He’s held himself out to be a 501 C3 and there seems to some question about that” Truelove said.
That’s the moment when this story changed.
Pt. 2 The Factual Evidence
For years there have been unsubstantiated claims of fraud and Chapman’s organization being a non profit by locals, who in the opinion of this publication have an axe to grind against Chapman.
Not once did this publication receive any evidence to back those claims.
In 2018, a source who asked to remain anonymous who is close to the organization was asked to be its chief financial officer. The source told this reporter, at the time they declined because the organization’s books “were a mess.”
That source declined to identify themselves in a story due to proximity of relationship with Chapman.
“He’ll know where it came from” the source said in June of 2018.
The Bristol Wildcats Youth Football organization, received its tax exempt status according to the Internal Revenue Setvice (IRS), in August 2017.
Three years and two months later, the tax exempt status was revoked, according to available online IRS documents. The revocation, the IRS says, is the result of tax exempt organizations not filing returns/required forms for three consecutive years
This past Friday, the Wildcats held their annual flag football banquet at the Elks Lodge on Wood Street in Bristol Borough.
Chapman was collecting funds for a raffle give away set for the fall. According to the IRS, those donations are not tax deductible. Moreover, the league is in the midst of its fall tackle football recruitment of kids and their families.
According to the National Council of Nonprofits (NCNP), the potential penalties for collecting funds as a non-profit run the gambit. What the NCNP does not mention is the potentiality for any criminal liabilities.
Lower Bucks Source asked school district officials on Friday afternoon whether or not, at any time after October 15, 2020, did Chapman ever provide proof of nonprofit status.
School district officials said “no.”
Pt 3: The Drama
The launch point for this reporting actually began with Chapman throwing a proverbial flag on Bristol Borough officials in April 2022. The school district said he could not use the fields owned by them because work needed to be completed on fields used by Bristol High School sports teams.
Lower Bucks Source, and other area publications, covered the “controversy.”
This online news source published thee stories published that week alone. The links are below.
Eight weeks after the youth league’s tax exempt status was revoked, the Wildcats were one of 35 youth programs to receive a grant from the Philadelphia Eagles
The drama was restated this past June 29 when Chapman alleged in a social media post the school district was going to charge him $30,000 to use their football fields.
“Jeff, we asked him to fill out what I recall is a five to six page form for facilities use. That was it. I have no idea where he’s getting those numbers from. None at all. Instead of attacking us all the time on social media, fill out the forms. But he hasn’t yet, even as the school district has asked him a number of times to come in, sit down and talk. Instead he goes on social media to attack”, said exasperated School Board President Dave Chicilitti.
The forms to this date have yet to be completed so we don’t know what we’re going to charge because we have no idea how many days, hours, etc Chris wanted to use the fields.
“It’s getting old. I don’t see how that benefits the kids in the league or their families” he said.
Often the target too, of Chapman’s online diatribes and rants Bristol Borough Council President Ralph Diguiseppe said, “if true its disappointing to find out he’s misleading families.”
Brittany Dugan, an ardent supporter of all things youth related and is very involved with Wildcats football said, she did not know the organization’s non profit status was revoked.
“Why would I know?” she said.
Asked for her opinion on how the organization has been run in recent months and if it has changed.
“Yes it has. Things just aren’t going smoothly like years prior.I just want to know all these kids have a place to play to continue to play their sport. They deserve that much” she said.
For the record, Lower Bucks Source asked Chapman more than five times since Friday morning for copies of proof of non profit status as April 24,2021, explaining if he had the documents, this story would have a completely different direction and tone.
The first time, this publication asked for copies and or proof of non-profit status was approximately 11:25 am Friday which is the time when we discovered the information published from the IRS.
Chapman in a series of exchanges on Facebook messenger said:
1) It’s public knowledge. Look it up. (We did!) That’s what school board member John D’Angelo did.
2) I don’t care what you check. You are misinformed our status was temporarily revoked until we had a little situation straightened out**. If we weren’t a legitimate non profit we would not be able to receive any grants.
3) Sometimes you come off very f***ing arrogant. You act like you’re talking to a little kid.
4) I don’t care what you write. I don’t care what you print ……..
Chapman never once provided proof the Bristol Wildcats Youth Football Association was restored after it was revoked. Instead he intimated he was being “harassed” and planned to contact attorney Lou Hornstine. Chapman also took the time to assail this publication saying “…listen buddy stay clean and sober maybe you can get a job with a real paper.”
Still no proof provided.
On Sunday, Lower Bucks Source asked school district officials if the school district plans to take any action against Chapman and the organization.
“Nothing has been discussed,” school district officials said Sunday morning.
The school however, did say, they have requested paper copies of the revocation from the IRS recently.
Chapman always likes to say his organization “is about the kids”
If it were about the kids, he’d simply provide the needed documents. But he hasn’t.
Not to the school district. Not to Bristol Borough, and last but certainly not least to the IRS for over fours years, according to IRS website.
Where did all of the money go? Where are the receipts? Why has Chris Chapman not filed tax information with the IRS?
As the infamous quote from the movie Jerry McGuire goes – “Show us the money….” the documents and receipts- every organization Chapman deals might want to also ask.
Lower Bucks Source was unable to access State Non -profit records as of Sunday night.
JoAnn Ames contributed to the editing & writing of this story.
Nine on the records sources were used in the creation and publication of this story.