Sunday, June 16, 2024

Death Blow? Historic Friars Club Stripped of Tax Exempt Status by IRS After Failing to File for More than 3 Years


EXCLUSIVE This may be the death knell for the Friars Club.

The historic, legendary organization that once boasted members like Joan Rivers, Billy Crystal, Alan King, and so on has had a devastating turn of events. The IRS has stripped the club of its tax exempt status. The reason? The club had not filed a Form 990 tax return in over three years.

The news is posted to GuideStar, which monitors tax exempt organizations. The last time the Friars filed was in 2015.

At that time I was already reporting their nosedive into disaster. In the last six months, the Club finally fired its president, Michael Gyure, who’d been found guilty of personal tax evasion. Right before that they suffered a massive flood in their historic building on East 55th St., which shut them down. They’d already endured losing a sexual harassment suit brought their former receptionist. And the Feds had previously raided the premises to see what Gyure had been doing.

Just last month the whole staff was dismissed. Sources say the club did get insurance money from the flood. They may also have qualified for government assistance thanks to the virus.

But without the 501 c(3) designation, the Friars are lost. On their Guidestar title page, you can find just this: “This organization’s exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.” They’ve also been removed from Charity Navigator.

It’s unclear who knows the Friars can no longer collect money as a charity or foundation. They’d announced a Friars Roast of Al Sharpton, but that won’t he happening, nor will any more roasts. If anyone knows more, you can always email me at

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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