December 20, 2023 – SANTA ANA, CALIF. Today, Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do called on LAist’s publisher and editor to fire reporter Nick Gerda for using a forged IRS document, a non-profit’s 2021 tax return, in his latest article targeting Do and his family.
Gerda’s article, “Nonprofit Led By OC Supervisor’s Daughter Failed To Submit Required Audits For Millions In Spending, Records Show,” links to a 2021 IRS tax return allegedly filed by the Viet America Society, important parts of that document have been changed.
In the forged IRS tax form (link) the PDF file shows the date – 2021 – in the upper right-hand corner with text in two colors, black and green. Additionally, in Section A, the text says, “For the 2021 calendar year, or tax year beginning 01-01-2022, and ending 12-31-2022.” Furthermore, on p. 7, it lists Peter Pham (President) and Rhiannon Do (Vice President).
In the real IRS 2021 tax form filed by the Viet America Society and easily obtained from the IRS, the document appears as a real IRS form should. The date – 2021 – in the upper right hand corner is one color (all black type). Additionally, in Section A, the text says, “For the 2021 calendar year, or tax year beginning 01-01-2021, and ending 12-31-2021.” Furthermore, on p. 7, it lists Hua Le Van as president.
“With a bare minimum of digging, my staff and I uncovered a falsified IRS tax return that, when used by Nick Gerda either intentionally or due to laziness, calls into question the veracity of his claims against the Viet America Society, me and my daughter,” stated Supervisor Andrew Do. “This article, coupled with other ‘reporting’ by Gerda is unbelievably sloppy. The LAist needs to hold him to account for publishing falsified material and fire him immediately.”
“The tax filing that Nick Gerda has cited about Rhiannon Do’s employment with the Viet America Society in 2021, which he argued required disclosure, was in fact forged. Viet America Society’s 2022 tax return was modified to say 2021 in order to create a false timeline,” continued Do.
Do concluded, “Enough is enough. Gerda clearly has an agenda. He needs to explain himself and either provide information on who provided him with the doctored tax return or fess up to doctoring it himself in an attempt to generate salacious content. Either way, these actions or negligence are not traits of a credible reporter at a respected news outlet.”
Additionally, in Gerda’s latest story, he repeats claims that have long-since been rebutted by facts. The Viet America Society’s tax-exempt status was granted by the Internal Revenue Service on June 10, 2020, the day it registered with the State of California. Gerda claims the non-profit was not legally compliant with State of California filings. In fact, the Viet America Society was given 60 days to cure a paperwork filing deficiency with the California State Attorney General and has always been a legally registered non-profit organization.
About Supervisor Andrew Do
Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do represents the First District communities of Cypress, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Westminster, and the Unincorporated Communities of Midway City and Rossmoor. As Supervisor, Andrew Do has reformed Orange County’s mental health services, expanded access to health care, and led efforts to combat homelessness.