The Completionist Scam or Legit Charity? Unveiling The Truth

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  • Post published:November 14, 2023
  • Post category:Reviews

Jirard “The Completionist” Khalil has built a massive following on YouTube by fully completing games and reviewing them in detail. However, his reputation is now under intense scrutiny due to allegations that his charity, The Open Hand Foundation, has withheld over $600,000 in donations that were intended for dementia research.

These accusations first came to light in November 2023 when popular YouTubers Karl Jobst and SomeOrdinaryGamers released videos claiming The Open Hand Foundation had not donated any money to research organizations in the 10+ years since its founding. Their evidence stems primarily from the foundation’s publicly available Form 990-PF tax documents.

This article will analyze the key allegations against The Completionist, Jirard’s responses so far, and what it could mean for his future as a prominent figure in gaming and YouTube culture.

The Completionist

The Core Allegations Against The Open Hand Foundation

The central accusation is that The Open Hand Foundation has raised over $600,000 through events like IndieLand, donations, and merch sales, but has not distributed any funds towards their stated mission of supporting dementia research.

Karl Jobst and SomeOrdinaryGamers back this up by pointing to the foundation’s 990-PF tax forms from 2014-2022 which show:

  • $655,520 in total net assets as of 2022
  • $0 in grants or contributions paid out over that timeframe
  • Only expenses listed are miscellaneous operating costs

On the surface, this paints a very suspicious picture that the non-profit has hung onto donations for years without using them for charitable purposes.

Critics also highlight questionable claims on the foundation’s website and past statements Jirard has made about donations being made to specific organizations like the UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center. Based on the tax forms, these statements appear to be false.

Jirard Khalil’s Initial Responses to the Allegations

When directly confronted by Jobst and SomeOrdinaryGamers, Jirard claimed he was unaware until 2021 that the money had not been passed on to any charities or research institutions.

He asserts that since learning this fact, he has been actively searching for worthy organizations to receive the funds. However, after years of apparent dishonesty, critics are demanding concrete proof that the money will finally be properly donated.

Jirard also indicated that donations made before the foundation’s official registration in 2014 were being saved up with no urgency to distribute them. But others have disputed this stance, arguing that a non-profit is still obligated to fulfill its mission no matter when funds are received.

On social media, some of Jirard’s colleagues have defended him as a good person who would not intentionally commit fraud. But most feel he still bears responsibility for failing to provide oversight of the foundation’s finances and activities.

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Jirard Khalil response

Analyzing the Potential Explanations

There are a few possibilities that could explain the current situation:

Incompetence – Jirard and other foundation staff truly did not understand the proper protocols for operating and monitoring a non-profit. This allowed donations to sit unused due to disorganization and ignorance. Still shows negligence, but not intentional deceit.

Personal Use – Funds were improperly utilized for Jirard’s personal expenses and enrichment rather than their intended purpose. Would indicate outright fraud and theft.

Tax Avoidance – The money was deliberately not distributed and instead left to accrue in accounts as a tax liability reduction strategy. Also fraudulent if donations were solicited under false pretenses.

Lack of Urgency – They did intend to eventually donate the money but drug their feet with no sense of urgency. Still unethical behavior for a non-profit.

Saving Up – Donations were held and allowed to accumulate so they could be donated in a large, attention-grabbing lump sum at a later date. But still dishonest not to disclose this.

Most likely it is either extreme incompetence, general mismanagement, or some combination of those. While not impossible, there is currently less evidence to suggest overt fraud and theft.

But regardless of the reasons, The Open Hand Foundation violated key rules and standards for operating as a tax-exempt charitable organization.

The Questionable Charity Practices at Play

The allegations against The Completionist’s charity point to several concerning nonprofit practices:

Deceptive Fundraising – It is unethical and potentially illegal to mislead donors about how their contributions will be used in order to solicit more money. Jirard and the foundation claimed specific organizations were receiving funds over the years when tax forms show no distributions occurred.

Violating Tax Rules – Registered 501(c)(3) public charities are required to dispense at least 5% of their assets each year toward their mission or risk losing tax-exempt status. With $655K+ in net assets, The Open Hand Foundation should have been distributing a minimum of $30-50K annually.

Lack of Transparency – Ethical nonprofits allow donors and the public to easily review detailed financial statements and activities. The Open Hand Foundation does not appear to have provided much financial transparency beyond the limited tax forms.

No Concrete Results – When a nonprofit raises significant money for a cause like dementia research, donors expect to be shown the impacts and results it is achieving. The Open Hand Foundation has not demonstrated any tangible outcomes from years of fundraising.

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These issues reflect terribly on the foundation’s trustworthiness, competence, and ability to achieve its central goal.

Open hand foundation allegation response

Link to the full responses.

The Fallout Jirard Khalil Faces Professionally and Personally

Allegations of misusing charitable donations can have severe consequences for Jirard Khalil’s reputation and career as The Completionist. Some potential repercussions he may be dealing with include:

🚩 Loss of audience trust – Viewers who donated or supported the cause will feel betrayed and be reluctant to take Jirard at his word in the future.

🚩 Mainstream media coverage – Major outlets are likely to report on the story given Jirard’s prominence, further damaging his brand.

🚩 YouTube demonetization – The platform may determine he violated policies against deceptive practices and suspend his ability to earn ad revenue.

🚩 Investigations – Regulators like the IRS and state attorneys general could open probes into financial misconduct and unlawful activity.

🚩 Legal action – Disgruntled donors could potentially attempt to sue him for fraudulently misdirecting contributions.

🚩 Indie backlash – Game studios who worked with the foundation’s events could speak out against Jirard for mishandling charitable funds.

On a personal level, it’s clear Jirard is deeply devoted to this cause due to his mother’s tragic death from dementia. Reckoning with his failure to properly oversee donations made in her honor is likely devastating for him.

While parts of his community are standing by him, a scandal of this nature can permanently tarnish a public figure’s name. Jirard faces an immense challenge to regain the widespread trust and faith he once had.

What Critics Demand to See Moving Forward

For Jirard to start making amends, critics agree that supporters deserve complete transparency and accountability regarding the donations in question.

Actions he could take include:

✔️ Posting receipts showing the full $600,000+ has been properly donated to legitimate dementia research organizations.

✔️ Explaining in detail where all expenses and funds went each year since the foundation’s inception.

✔️ Apologizing sincerely and specifically for the apparent false public statements made about donations.

✔️ Committing to annual third-party audits of the foundation’s finances going forward.

✔️ Updating the foundation’s site to accurately reflect its lack of contributions so far.

✔️ Stepping down from directly managing foundation activities that require greater expertise.

✔️ Making substantial personal contributions beyond just the existing funds to demonstrate commitment.

Without clear proof that mishandled donations were delivered as promised, it will be extremely difficult for Jirard to rebuild broken trust. Even if evidence of fraud never emerges, his reputation is likely damaged for years due to the gross mismanagement.

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The Larger Impacts on Charity Perceptions

The Completionist controversy ties into larger ongoing discussions about non-profit misdeeds and regulating charitable organizations:

Charity Skepticism – Polling suggests public trust in charities continues to decline, with many suspecting abuses like excessive overhead and enrichment of staff. These allegations reinforce skepticism.

Celebrity Culture – When Internet celebrities start charitable initiatives, inadequate vetting and oversight often occurs. The Completionist case underscores the risks of giving to celebrity passion projects.

Administrative Bloat – Experts argue too many non-profits devote an overwhelming share of budgets to administrative costs rather than their causes. Unusually high expenses compared to minimal payouts fuels this concern.

Tax Haven Potential – Lax monitoring enables some charities to be used as vehicles for wealthy family members to hoard assets tax-free. Situations like The Open Hand Foundation steer suspicions in that direction.

The Need for Reform – Advocates say enhanced financial transparency requirements, rules on minimum payouts, and stiffer penalties for violations are needed to address ongoing charity abuses.

For small grassroots organizations doing vital work in communities, larger entities plagued by scandals and self-dealing make it harder to attract support and resources.

Until meaningful reforms occur, expect amplified criticism of the charitable sector.

The Hope for a Positive Resolution

Nobody relishes seeing a widely admired public figure like Jirard Khalil endure such intense scrutiny. But accountability often leads to improvement.

With luck, The Completionist will seize this as a chance to transform his foundation into an ethically run and impactful endeavor that delivers on its promises.

If Jirard cooperates fully, redirects all donated funds to research as claimed, and implements major organizational changes, over time he may be able to convert this scandal into a redemption story.

It will be a long road to rebuild public trust. But coming completely clean, expressing sincere remorse, and doing everything possible to make the situation right would be the best possible path forward for Jirard and the future of his career.

For the sake of those suffering from dementia – and the supporters who only wanted to help search for a cure in memory of his beloved mother – everyone should hope The Completionist can eventually create a legitimate charitable legacy people can believe in.

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