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Rudy Giuliani arrives at the federal courthouse in Washington.
Jose Luis Magana/AP

Rudy Giuliani, Facing Bankruptcy, Claims Purchasing Coffee Will Help a Mysterious Charity

“The complete lack of a public trail is a red flag,” an ethics expert said.

Rudy Giuliani, the Trump-allied former New York City mayor who declared bankruptcy in 2023, has in recent days been selling coffee online and saying proceeds will help a nonprofit called Call2Action. But Call2Action does not appear to be an existing nonprofit — though a corporation by that name with little paper trail was formed in Delaware late last week.

“By supporting Rudy Coffee, you’re not just treating yourself to exceptional coffee, you’re also supporting our cause,” Giuliani said in an ad he posted on X. “You’ll also be supporting the Call2Action nonprofit, which is devoted to helping veterans and first responders. So you can make a difference and taste the difference.”

There are no signs of a veterans-focused charity called Call2Action online, and when NOTUS looked for the charity’s website using a QR code embedded in Giuliani’s ad, it led to a broken link. Delaware state law does not require the owners of a corporation to disclose their names, so the organization called Call2Action recently registered in the state discloses no details except its name.

The confusing lack of a paper trail is another symptom of how tumultuous Giuliani’s life has been since his alleged actions to keep former President Donald Trump in office after Trump lost the 2020 election and Giuliani’s stunning fall from grace over the last two decades. While it is possible that Giuliani or someone associated with him is in the process of creating a nonprofit while Giuliani fights numerous legal battles, it is also possible Giuliani is raising money for a nonprofit that does not exist and is not in the process of being set up.

“The complete lack of a public trail is a red flag,” said Jordan Libowitz, vice president of communications at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit that has sued Trump.

Giuliani is facing charges related to election interference in Arizona and Georgia. He filed for bankruptcy after a $148 million judgment in a defamation case of two poll workers in Georgia, which he is appealing.

Due to his financial woes, Giuliani has had difficulty finding legal representation, but he eventually obtained the legal services of L. Allyn Stockton Jr. in Georgia. At his arraignment last week in Arizona, Giuliani did not have a lawyer, although he declined the commissioner’s offer of a court-appointed attorney and said he would obtain one in time for the next court hearing July 2.

Giuliani posted a video timed near the arraignment advertising Rudy Coffee. His longtime girlfriend, Dr. Maria Ryan, started promoting the coffee as well.

Rudy Coffee is not a registered business on its own, according to corporation records reviewed by NOTUS, and lists the same address as Burke Brands, a coffee roaster based in Miami. NOTUS called and emailed both the owner and the general manager of Burke Brands, neither of whom responded.

NOTUS searched extensively for a charity called Call2Action, looking for records of that name and variants in New York and Florida, where Giuliani lives, as well as in the IRS tax-exempt organization search and a database of nonprofits maintained by the news site ProPublica.

The entity registered last Friday in Delaware is set up as a corporation. It could apply for tax-exempt status with the IRS and become a nonprofit, and there are several reasons why a new charity might not appear in a search, said Jeff Tenenbaum, a nonprofit attorney and managing partner at Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC.

Call2Action could have its application pending with the IRS, as it can take up to two years from the formation of a nonprofit for it to show up in IRS records. If that happens, it could take months before information about who is running Call2Action or if Giuliani is affiliated with the corporation becomes public. Call2Action could also be using a fiscal sponsorship.

NOTUS could identify several other corporations with names similar to, or the same as, the one cited by Giuliani: A corporation called Call2Action was founded in 2007 in Delaware, and a Call2Action Network Limited, LLC was also formed in Delaware that year, with an initial filing in New York in 2009. In addition, there is a Call2Action, LTD, founded in New York in 2012 and an LLC founded the year prior called Call 2 Action in Missouri. None of these organizations appear to be tax-exempt nonprofits currently, nor do they have websites or other online presence.

There are reasons to be concerned, experts told NOTUS.

“The fact that it’s a broken link coupled with the fact that the organization could not be found in any of the leading federal or state nonprofit organization databases is certainly a big red flag,” Jeff Tenenbaum said.

Tara Kavaler is a NOTUS reporter and an Allbritton Journalism Institute fellow.