Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

Left-wing nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to top management

The SPLC’s chief trial counsel Morris Dees / Getty Images

BY: 
August 31, 2017 5:00 am

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal, Alabama-based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that has gained prominence on the left for its “hate group” designations, pushes millions of dollars to offshore entities as part of its business dealings, records show.

Additionally, the nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to its top directors and key employees while spending little on legal services despite its stated intent of “fighting hate and bigotry” using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is perhaps best known for its “hate map,” a collection of organizations the nonprofit deems “domestic hate groups” that lists mainstream conservative organizations alongside racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and is often referenced in the media. A gunman opened fire at the Washington, D.C., offices of the conservative Family Research Council in 2012 after seeing it listed as an “anti-gay” group on SPLC’s website.

The SPLC has turned into a fundraising powerhouse, recording more than $50 million in contributions and $328 million in net assets on its 2015 Form 990, the most recently available tax form from the nonprofit. SPLC’s Form 990-T, its business income tax return, from the same year shows that they have “financial interests” in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda. No information is available beyond the acknowledgment of the interests at the bottom of the form.

However, the Washington Free Beacon discovered forms from 2014 that shed light on some of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s transfers to foreign entities.

The SPLC’s Form 8865, a Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships, from 2014 shows that the nonprofit transferred hundreds of thousands to an account located in the Cayman Islands.

SPLC lists Tiger Global Management LLC, a New York-based private equity financial firm, as an agent on its form. The form shows a foreign partnership between the SPLC and Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P., a pooled investment fund in the Cayman Islands. SPLC transferred $960,000 in cash on Nov. 24, 2014 to Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P, its records show.

The SPLC’s Form 926, a Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation, from 2014 shows additional cash transactions that the nonprofit had sent to offshore funds.

The SPLC reported a $102,007 cash transfer on Dec. 24, 2014 to BPV-III Cayman X Limited, a foreign entity located in the Cayman Islands. The group then sent $157,574 in cash to BPV-III Cayman XI Limited on Dec. 31, 2014, an entity that lists the same PO Box address in Grand Cayman as the previous transfer.

The nonprofit pushed millions more into offshore funds at the beginning of 2015.

On March 1, 2015, SPLC sent $2,200,000 to an entity incorporated in Canana Bay, Cayman Islands, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records and run by a firm firm based in Greenwich, Ct. Another $2,200,000 cash transfer was made on the same day to another fund whose business is located at the same address as the previous fund in the Cayman Islands, according to SEC records.

No information is contained on its interests in Bermuda on the 2014 forms. SPLC’s financial stakes in the British Virgin Islands were not acknowledged until its 2015 tax form.

Lucinda Chappelle, a principal at Jackson Thornton, the public accounting firm in Montgomery, Ala., that prepared the SPLC’s tax forms, said she does not discuss client matters and hung up the phone when the Free Beacon contacted her in an attempt to get the most updated forms from the group in relation to its foreign business dealings.

Tax experts expressed confusion when being told of the transfer.

“I’ve never known a US-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,” said Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California-based nonprofit consulting firm. “My impression based on prior interactions is that they have a small, modestly paid staff, and were regarded by most in the industry as frugal and reliable. I am stunned to learn of transfers of millions to offshore bank accounts. It is a huge red flag and would have been completely unacceptable to any wealthy, responsible, experienced board member who was committed to a charitable mission who I ever worked with.”

“It is unethical for any US-based charity to invest large sums of money overseas,” said Casil. “I know of no legitimate reason for any US-based nonprofit to put money in overseas, unregulated bank accounts.”

“It seems extremely unusual for a ‘501(c)(3)’ concentrating upon reducing poverty in the American South to have multiple bank accounts in tax haven nations,” Charles Ortel, a former Wall Street analyst and financial advisor who helped uncover a 2009 financial scandal at General Electric, told the Free Beacon.

The nonprofit also pays lucrative salaries to its top leadership.

Richard Cohen, president and chief executive officer of the SPLC, was given $346,218 in base compensation in 2015, its tax forms show. Cohen received $20,000 more in other reportable compensation and non-taxable benefits. Morris Dees, SPLC’s chief trial counsel, received a salary of $329,560 with $42,000 in additional reportable compensation and non-taxable benefits.

The minimum amount paid to an officer, director, trustee, or key employee in 2015 was $140,000 in base salary, not including other compensation.  The group spent $20 million on salaries throughout the year.

The SPLC, which claims to boast a staff of 75 lawyers who practice in the area of children’s rights, economic justice, immigrant justice, LGBT rights, and criminal justice reform, reported spending only $61,000 on legal services in 2015.

Following recent violence in Charlottesville, Va., the group raised a great deal of money.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told his employees that the company is donating $1 million to the SPLC and would match employee contributions two to one. Cook also placed an SPLC donation button in its iTunes store. The company is additionally providing a $1 million donation to the Anti-Defamation League.

J.P Morgan Chase vowed to add a $500,000 donation for the group’s “work in tracking, exposing, and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations.”

The Washington Times reported that CNN ran a wire story following the Charlottesville events originally titled, “Here are all the active hate groups where you live” using SPLC’s list of 917 groups.

Brad Dacus, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute, a Sacramento-based group that defends “religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties without charge,” was listed on the “hate groups” list.

“Why is the Southern Poverty Law Center doing this? It’s simple. They want to vilify and isolate anyone that doesn’t agree with their very extremist leftist policy and ideology,” Dacus told the Times. “This isn’t about defending civil rights; this is about attacking civil rights.”

“I am shocked that CNN would publish such a false report on the heels of the Charlottesville tragedy,” added Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, a Christian nonprofit that provides pro bono assistance and representation, which is also featured on SPLC’s list. “To lump peaceful Christian organizations, which condemn violence and racism, in with the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists is offensive. This is the epitome of fake news and is why people no longer trust the media.”

CNN later changed its headline to, “The Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.”

“The SPLC is an anti-conservative, anti-Christian hate group that the media have given pretend legitimacy to. One glance at their 990 tax forms is a reminder just what a fund-raising super-power it is,” Dan Gainor, vice president of Business and Culture at the Media Research Center, told the Free Beacon. “Its assets are over $328 million in 2015 and went up $13 million in just one year. It doesn’t need new liberal money. It could operate for at least six years and never raise a penny. It’s like a perpetual motion machine for fundraisers.”

The SPLC has also been hit with a number of lawsuits over “hate” defamation claims in recent days.

The Southern Poverty Law Center did not return a request for comment on its foreign financial dealings by press time.

Joe Schoffstall   Email Joe | Full Bio | RSS
Joe Schoffstall is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Previously, he spent three years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. He can be reached at Schoffstall@freebeacon.com. His Twitter handle is @JoeSchoffstall.

Advertisements

Why WORDPRESS is a fraud and a political sham!

Why WORDPRESS is a fraud and a political sham!

 

 

– WordPress claims to “support free speech” but it is as big a censorship tool as (and partner with) Google’s political propaganda scams

 

 

A small website tool was given away to hundreds of thousands of people. That software was called: “Wordpress”. Those people who got the free software built websites that were viewed by billions of people. The WordPress software turned out to be as infected as all of the devices revealed in the leaks that Edward Snowden and Julian Assange exposed about the CIA, FSB and NSA infections of the world’s internet devices.

 

 

WordPress now reaches the minds of over ¼ of the internet on Earth!

 

 

The infection that was embedded in WordPress was an actively managed effort by WordPress staff, financiers and executives to control the political ideology of the world, mostly in America.

 

 

The controllers of WordPress wanted to manipulate news and information, just like Google/YouTube, in order to control which candidates would be placed in office in order to pad their pockets with government payola.

 

 

WordPress executives hire armies of naive, emotionally unstable, ANTIFA Millennial kids to run their “Community Guardian” censorship programs. The WordPress.org, WordPress.com and Automattic senior staff that control WordPress use Scientology-like HR programming and socialization bubbles to create a Hitler Youth kind of blind obedience to a “grand design” of Utopian open society, drug culture and “green energy”. The bosses at WordPress care nothing about those crunchy granola things, though. They only care about the cash that they can scrape into their hidden trust funds, real estate REIT’s and offshore Cayman Islands stealth accounts.

 

 

The Millennial front kids see none of that big cash. They are tools and puppets in the WordPress bosses schemes.

 

 

After you get the free WordPress you are constantly being up-sold by WordPress to pay them money to get “more services”. Once you pay them money, WordPress deletes your entire Website, in many cases destroying years of work and reader acquisitions worth millions of dollars, if you ever publish anything that WordPress bosses are afraid that the public might read.

 

 

Let’s clarify that charge: WordPress regularly engages in illegal FRAUD against their customers, by pretending to be a neutral service, charging customers money and then destroying those customers rights, property, assets, customer and reader bases, DNS and SEO value with illegal U.S. Constitution First Amendment rights violations and a complete rape of the Freedom of the Press rights doctrines!

 

 

Many groups have now gone to war against WordPress’s abuse of the public.

 

 

Hackers have begun attacking every WordPress installation. According to Mark, at Wordfence, a security monitoring service, WordPress is now the most hacked and the most targeted software in the world. The biggest risk a company can now take is to install WordPress. Hackers have created an international system to detect and hack every WordPress installation within 10 minutes of activation, according to experts at DEFCON, the top hacker conference. WordPress is known, by many nations, to be an Obama/Clinton political tool and entire nations have targeted it for elimination. With the hackers running amuck inside WordPress and all of the WordPress modules, anyone would be a fool to use WordPress in the Post 2016 world.

 

 

On top of that, WordPress is an entirely corrupt operation that uses its workers, the internet and the public for political ideology manipulation.

 

 

On top of that, WordPress defrauds its customers. Everyone censored by WordPress should sue WordPress for fraud and human rights violations. One group has pre-authored law suit filings for any WordPress user to use to sue WordPress for Fraud, Censorship and Human Rights violations.

 

 

On top of that: One group placed a number of sites on WordPress servers that had been computer calculated to have no duplicate content on them that ever appeared on any other site on Earth. This was done as a “sting-operation” because WordPress had been continually deleted all sites that the group’s readers had commented on about political corruption involving WordPress financiers. WordPress diligently deleted each of these sites stating that they had “duplicate news stories” on them. In fact, by design, none of them had any duplicate content on them. As each site posted stories about racketeering and political corruption in the Obama Administration, WordPress deleted the entire sites without warning. The documentation of these incidents proves that WordPress is a George Soros/Debbie Wasserman political search engine gaming tool. WordPress systematically destroys search engine access to and Google results access to websites that WordPress bosses feel might expose their scheme.

 

 

On top of that: One group had thousands of public interest news blogs destroyed by WordPress within a 15 minute period as soon as the hundreds of thousands of authors on their blogs started posting public forensics details about criminal actions that WordPress insider’s Elon Musk, John Podesta, George Soros and that crowd were engaged in. This wholesale slaughter of Freedom of Speech and Human Rights, by WordPress, should guarantee the bankruptcy of Matt: the boss of WordPress, his financiers and all of the trust fund-hidden backers of WordPress.

 

 

On top of that: Google/YouTube and WordPress work together on internet news manipulation, fake news production for the MSM, the hiding of “wrongthink” news and information and the overall manipulation of information on the internet. If it does not fit into the John Podesta vision of the world, WordPress/Google/YouTube make it disappear from the internet. WordPress is NOT the friendly little public information software that it pretends to be. WordPress is an insidious censorship tool created with the most Fascist designs by the most sick and twisted oligarchs of Silicon Valley political corruption.

 

 

WordPress is evil and not benign. WordPress is the absolute worst of politics and insidious psychological warfare.

 

 

WordPress rigs internet search engines to game the system for Obama and against anyone who exposes Obama and Clinton crimes.

 

 

 

What can you do about the nightmare that WordPress is?:

 

1. Write your Congressional representatives and demand an investigation of WordPress and its backers.

 

2. Write the FCC and demand that WordPress be treated and regulated as a “public utility” because WordPress is a corrupt monopoly on free speech.

 

3. Re-print all of the exposures, investigations and doxing of WordPress staff, owners and financiers.

 

4. Write the regulatory agencies that investigate political finance and demand investigations of WordPress funding by corporations who then got political favors, oligarchs who got corruption perks, the payments in “services” to political candidates and the cover-ups of tens of millions of dollars of improperly reported campaign financing that was conduited through WordPress.

 

5. Call the FBI. James Comey and Christopher Wray at the FBI have both received detailed reports on this corruption. Ask the FBI how you can help get these cases brought to charges.

 

6. Sue WordPress, it’s staff, it’s executives and it’s financiers. Sue them for Fraud, Constitutional Rights Violations and Anti-Trust Law Violations.

 

7. Pay the costs for someone to sue WordPress.

 

8. If you are a lawyer, start a Class-Action lawsuit against WordPress. We guarantee there are more than enough members to fill a large Class.

 

9. Find the instructions for “How To Take-Down WordPress” in public document repositories online and use the 100% legal methods listed there.

 

10. Post counter-posts on blogs where WordPress is hyping itself as a “good internet citizen” and expose the dirty political scam that WordPress really is!

 

11. There are hundreds of other ways to help terminate and punish WordPress (for the abuse of the public) that you can find in most Non-Google searches under “how to fight corruption”. Look up all the many ways to shut down corrupt organizations.

 

12. Write to anybody who has a site that says it is “By WordPress” at the bootom of it and tell them about what a bunch of shit-balls WordPress is and tell them to move to Drupal, Weebly, Wix or any of the other free software that is not as contaminated as WordPress is.

 

<

p style=”margin-bottom:0;font-weight:normal;line-height:100%;”>13. Pass the word in your social media that WordPress is simply as evil as Google!

 

George Soros Controls WordPress and Has WordPress Censor All Conservative Sites and Postings

WordPress pretended to be a “free public service”, using the same scam as Google uses but, in reality, WordPress is controlled by George Soros and Debbie Wasserman Shultz with advisory operations by John Podesta.

All WORDPRESS users are advised to SUE WORDPRESS and AUTOMATTIC for Consitutional law violations when they get a sham email, from WORDPRESS, like this:

“Your site has been suspended for containing content that we consider to be spam, which we define as content created with the primary purpose of mass solicitation or increasing traffic of third-party sites. Content that falls into these categories includes, but is not limited to, unwanted promotional content, duplicate content, and content written for gaming search engines. This is a violation of our User Guidelines and our Terms of Service. You can learn more at the following links:


http://en.support.wordpress.com/user-guidelines/
https://en.wordpress.com/tos/

If you wish to continue to use WordPress for your site, you might consider a self-hosted WordPress installation. Please follow the guide located at https://move.wordpress.com to successfully transfer your content to a more suitable WordPress host."

This is a SHAM cover story by WORDPRESS to censor you using FAKE issues. Do not tolerate this violation of your free speech rights. Nobody who got such a message from WORDPRESS was conducting any spam, gaming or anything other than expressing an opinion which George Soros does not want you to hear.

FIGHT BACK!!! SUE WORDPRESS AND PROTEST AT WORDPRESS OFFICES!!!

Nancy Pelosi Orders Democrats To Call All Republicans “Nazi’s” and “Anti-Black” But Money Trail Leads Back To Her

IT’S ON: Christian Group Sues SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER, AMAZON for Defamation of ‘Hate Group’ Designation… 
APPLE, JPMORGAN under fire for donations to SPLC…

NANCY PELOSI’S FINANCIERS FOUND TO BE CONDUITING CASH THROUGH SOTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER

Why Was The CIA Spying On The FBI?

Did CIA Create A Tool To Spy On NSA, FBI, And Homeland Security? New Vault7 Leak Reveals

 
SHARE

Facebook
Twitter

 

CIA ExpressLane Wikileaks
At the latest, Wikileaks has unearthed another CIA spying tool. So, what else the tool offers other than being a spyware? According to Wikileaks, the project called ExpressLane might have been used by CIA to tunnel data from their liaison services partners, back in 2009.The spyware goes along with CIA’s liaison services, possibly offered to US security agencies like NSA, FBI, and Homeland Security among others. Through the liaison services, maintained by CIA’s OTS (Office of Technical Services) branch, the agency expects to harvest biometric data from the partners.

 

“But this ‘voluntary sharing’ obviously does not work or is considered insufficient by the CIA, because ExpressLane is a covert information collection tool that is used by the CIA to secretly exfiltrate data collections from such systems provided to liaison services,” writes WikiLeaks.

ExpressLane disguises itself as a software update for the biometric software. It is manually installed by CIA technicians (via secret partition on a USB drive) on to partner systems along with the biometrics collection system. Meanwhile, the partners being completely unaware of what other things are present on their system.

The spying tool transfers the information, that might not have been shared by the partners, to flash drive for the further examination by the technicians. They also have a kill-switch at hand, requiring the system to be physically restored after a specified amount of time, if the partner refuses the update.

ExpressLane adds to the set of CIA-related tools and services released by Wikileaks in the past. Check out more details about ExpressLane using this link.

What are your views on this? Drop your thoughts and feedback.

Also Read: Fappening 3.0: Private Pictures Of Dakota Johnson And Nicole Scherzinger Leaked
 
 
SHARE

Facebook
Twitter

Aditya Tiwari

When he is not writing for Fossbytes, he is busy eating his daily cheat meal and finding content to binge watch. Please feel free to suggest him some good stuff on Netflix. Reach out at [email protected]
 

Linux-based security phone to ship with source code

Linux-based security phone to ship with source code

  by Eric Brown 

Tweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Purism is crowdfunding a security minded “Librem 5” smartphone that runs Linux on an i.MX6 or i.MX8, and offers a 5-inch screen and privacy protections.

After the death of Firefox OS, the discontinuation of the Ubuntu Phone, and Samsung’s painfully slow rollout of its Tizen phones, the dream of establishing alternative Linux phone platforms not called Android appeared to be heading for the dustbin of history. Lately, however, several new projects have emerged such as the Raspberry Pi Zero based ZeroPhone and Halium OS project.

 

The latest is Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone. Purism, which offers a Librem line of secure, open source, Intel Skylake based laptops, has now launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Librem 5 smartphone. The $599 phone won’t ship until Jan. 2019. However, a $299 developer kit is expected in June 2018. The company claims to have a manufacturer already signed up — assuming the $1.5 million campaign succeeds within the next two months.

Librem 5 prototype
(click image to enlarge)
Unlike other phones that offer extensive security features and privacy controls, such as Bittium’s Bittium Tough Mobile, Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2, Motorola Solutions’s LEX L10, Sikur’s GranitePhone, TRI’s Turing Phone, and Sonim’s XP7 Public Safety, the Librem 5 runs Linux instead of Android. Like the Librem laptops, the 5-inch Librem 5 runs a mobile stack based on Purism’s security-minded, Debian-based PureOS Linux distribution. Billed as the world’s first ever IP-native mobile handset, the unlocked phone uses end-to-end encrypted decentralized communication, including encrypted calls, texts, and emails.

Librem 5 homepage (left) and video calling interface
(click image to enlarge)
The Librem 5 provides open source code, support for VPN services, and hardware kill switches for the camera, microphone, WiFi/Bluetooth radio, and baseband. The baseband supports 2G/3G/4G, GSM, UMTS, or LTE networks. Customers will be able to choose from a full carrier package, a cellular data plan with WiFi, or WiFi only. No carrier partners were listed.

The first version will be capable of voice calling, video, camera, messaging, email, and web browsing. The stack will “expand quickly to include the thousands of productivity, gaming, graphics, and photography applications already in PureOS,” says Purism.

 

The Librem 5 phone can run PureOS or any other GNU/Linux distro available with open source code on the NXP i.MX6 or i.MX8. The current design calls for a quad-core Cortex-A9-based i.MX6, but this may change to a quad -A53 i.MX8 SoC as the project progresses.

 

Either design enables the separation of the CPU from the baseband modem, letting the developers “dig deeper and deeper to protect your privacy and isolate components for a strong security hardware stack,” says Purism. PureOS “strives for the strictest of security and privacy protection, by releasing all the source code, and offering safe security and privacy defaults, as well as avoiding common security threats, such as ransomware, and data mining tools,” says the company.

Librem 5 messaging UI (left) and feature comparison chart
(click images to enlarge)
The specs are still under consideration, but currently include the “i.MX6/i.MX8” with Vivante GPU, which on the i.MX6, at least, is supported with the Etnaviv “free software accelerated driver.” There will also be a separate mobile baseband.

The Librem 5 will include 3GB of LPDDR3, plus 32GB eMMC storage and a microSD slot. No resolution was listed for the 5-inch touchscreen. The phone will provide WiFi, Bluetooth 4.x, a SIM slot, and GPS, as well as sensors including accelerometer, gyro, compass, ambient light, and proximity.

 

Front and back cameras will be included, along with an audio jack, mic, speaker, and volume controls. A USB host port will be available along with a battery, and debug interface.

Librem 5 development kit mainboard
The developer kit due to arrive next June will feature a mainboard, screen, and touchscreen, plus cabling and power supply. Other features will include cellular baseband, WiFi, GPS, sensors, and camera interface.

The PureOS distribution that runs on the Librem laptops is a derivative of Debian GNU/Linux main, and includes a GNOME 3 desktop with the Wayland display protocol. The stack includes a homegrown PureBrowser with the Tor browser, the Duck Duck Go search engine, the EFF Privacy Badger, and HTTPS: Everywhere.

 

The decentralized encryption available on the Librem 5 is enabled via a partnership with Matrix, which offers an open ecosystem for interoperable encrypted communication that supports over 2 million users with VoIP and Slack-style messaging. The Librem 5 is claimed to be the first Matrix-powered smartphone. The phone will also support HTML5 apps, which are isolated from running applications or any other component of the phone the user chooses to protect.

 

Although the phone’s software is open source, there is no promise that the hardware will be. “Our intention is to have everything freed down to the schematic level, but have not cleared all design, patents, legal, and contractual details,” says the FAQ. “We will continue to advance toward this goal as it aligns with our long-term beliefs.”

 

 
Further information

The Librem 5 is available now on Purism’s private crowdfunding page starting at $599 (due Jan. 2019), or $299 for the development kit (June 2018). Bundled offerings with keyboard, mouse, and 24-inch ($1,399) or 30-inch ($1,699) monitors will also ship in Jan. 2019. Volume discounts are also available. More information may be found on the Librem 5 crowdfunding page and the Purism website.

WE TOLD YOU SO: GOOGLE EXISTS BECAUSE OF FAKE TRAFFIC

WE TOLD YOU SO: GOOGLE EXISTS BECAUSE OF FAKE TRAFFIC

 

For over a decade, an alliance of investigators from www.googleinvestigations.com has filed charges about Google’s criminally fraudulent operations. Now, their charges have been validated by industry experts.

 

Google Issuing Refunds to Advertisers Over Fake Traffic, Plans New Safeguard

 

Some advertisers question level of refunds, want more details about fraudulent traffic

 

The Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Photo: Associated Press

By

Lara O’Reilly

39 COMMENTS

 

Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL -0.37% Google is issuing refunds to advertisers for ads bought through its platform that ran on sites with fake traffic, people familiar with the situation said, as the company develops a tool to give buyers more transparency about their purchases.

In the past few weeks, Google has informed hundreds of marketers and ad agency partners about the issue with invalid traffic, known in the industry as “ad fraud.” The ads were bought using the company’s DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Google’s refunds amount to only a fraction of the total ad spending served to invalid traffic, which has left some advertising executives unsatisfied, the people familiar with the situation said. Google has offered to repay its “platform fee,” which ad buyers said typically ranges from about 7% to 10% of the total ad buy.

The company says this is appropriate, because it doesn’t control the rest of the money. Typically, advertisers use DoubleClick Bid Manager to target audiences across vast numbers of websites in seconds by connecting to dozens of online ad exchanges, marketplaces that connect buyers and publishers through real-time auctions.

The ad spending flows through to the exchanges. The problems arise when ads run on publisher sites with fraudulent traffic, such as those where clicks are generated by software programs known as “bots” instead of humans. This is an issue of growing to concern to marketers. It is difficult to recoup the money paid to those sites when the issue is discovered too late.

Advertisers often receive small credits from Google and their other ad-tech vendors when they detect discrepancies, but in this case, for some buyers, the instance of fraud discovered was larger than usual.

Scott Spencer, director of product management for Google, acknowledged that refunds have been paid, but he declined to provide a dollar figure for the amount being returned. Some ad buyers said the refund amounts range from “less money than you would spend on a sandwich” to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Some agencies and advertisers would have been impacted more than others, depending on their level of spending during the period and the types of ads they bought.

“Today, we can’t disclose the information about third parties,” Mr. Spencer said. “So when we aren’t able to catch invalid traffic before it impacts our advertisers and we’re unable to refund their media spend, it hurts us, even if we’re not responsible.”

Google is working on a fix it hopes will provide some clarity over which technology providers in the ad-buying chain are responsible for issuing refunds. It is also working on technology to ensure advertisers automatically receive a full credit back from Google and its partners if incidents occur again.

The company said it is entering discussions with the 100-plus exchanges, ad networks and publishers DoubleClick Bid Manager plugs into and asking them to display to ad buyers whether they are willing to refund the entire media spend if ad-fraud instances occur. Buyers could then opt to filter out the sources of inventory that don’t have such a policy.

Mr. Spencer said Google expects “high rates of adoption” among exchanges, and that the ones it had spoken to so far had been “very supportive” of the effort.

Another point of contention among those receiving refunds is that they haven’t been given details about where their ads ended up or specific details about the exploits the fraudsters used, so that advertisers and agencies can apply their own safeguards in the future.

“We need to be very careful about commenting on or discussing specifics about bots or our detection,” Mr. Spencer said. “Often fraudsters will change their approaches and strategies based on our public comments.”

Of the billions of dollars flowing into online advertising each year, a percentage is inadvertently shown to sites with fake traffic, with fraudsters siphoning off advertisers’ money for themselves.

The industry’s efforts to rein in fraud appear to have an impact.Some $6.5 billion in ad spending will be wasted this year to fraud, down 10% from 2016, according to a report released in May by the Association of National Advertisers and ad-fraud detection firm WhiteOps.

The methods the fraudsters use are highly sophisticated. Some infect unsuspecting consumers’ computers with malware to form a “botnet” that clicks on ads in the background.

Fraudsters are often adept at covering their tracks, which can make their activity difficult to spot until after the event has occurred.

For years, Google has had teams dedicated to filtering out fraud before an advertiser makes a bid on an ad. Those teams can also prevent exchanges from being paid if an ad has already been bid on, but invalid traffic is quickly detected. The teams also work to discover historical instances of fraud, which is what happened in this particular case.

Google said the buyers it contacted in this instance were impacted by invalid traffic over the course of a few months this year, primarily in the second quarter. Part of that traffic affected video ads, which carry higher ad rates than typical display ads and are therefore an attractive target for fraudsters.

Google has also joined a number of industry initiatives, such as the “Ads.txt” project launched in May by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an industry trade body. The tool lets premium publishers insert a text file on their web servers to list all the ad tech vendors authorized to sell their inventory so ad buyers can confirm which platforms are selling legitimate ads.

“When people talk about [ad fraud], there’s a big specter to it and a big concern about invalid traffic in digital,” said Mr. Spencer. “It’s not that large in terms of a percentage of what people are buying, but it can be a little bit scary to buyers, and our goal is to remove that to improve the trust overall in the ecosystem.”

—Alexandra Bruell contributed to this article

Write to Lara O’Reilly at lara.o’reilly@wsj.com

 

<

p style=”margin-bottom:0;line-height:100%;”>