Confusion surrounds the Paul Kimmage Defence Fund with news that legal action is being taken against one of the trustees, Aaron Brown, for his alleged failure to provide money from or information relating to the fund.

The defence fund was set up last September to support Kimmage, the former rider-turned-journalist, when cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, began legal action against him for defamation. It attracted support from throughout the world, and within two months stood at $90,000, with contributions from more than 3,000 individuals.

In October the UCI suspended its action against Kimmage, but the fund remained open. Now, however, some of the money – believed to be around $10,000 – is believed to be unaccounted for.

The action against Mr Brown was filed on Monday in the Superior Court for Worcester County, Massachusetts, by Lesli Cohen, editor-in-chief of Cyclismas, a website devoted to cycling satire. Brown is Cyclismas operations director, but perhaps better known for his spoof Twitter account, ‘UCI Overlord,’ a parody of Pat McQuaid, the UCI president who, with former president Hein Verbruggen, instigated the legal action after Kimmage described them as corrupt.

“I am currently engaged in a legal action against Aaron Brown,” said Cohen. “The court proceeding is to supervise the settling of accounts which Mr. Brown has, to date, refused to provide the details of to either myself or Paul Kimmage – with respect to both the Paul Kimmage Defense Fund and the business accounts for and its related ventures.

“At no time did either Paul Kimmage or myself ever have control or access to the accounts that held the Paul Kimmage Defense Fund,” Cohen continued. “Aaron Brown maintained sole control of that account, and it was Aaron who disbursed the payments to Paul to pay his attorney’s fees in December.

“On Saturday, Paul Kimmage asked Aaron Brown for detailed statements showing the existence of the fund and how much was remaining in the fund. He was not given satisfactory answers by Aaron. Paul then asked his attorney to request that Aaron either provide access to the Kimmage Defense Fund or transfer the remaining funds into an account under the attorney’s care and control. Aaron refused.

“We are now asking the court to compel Aaron to provide a full accounting of all the funds mentioned above and rectify the situation.”

Brown, who relocated to Girona at the start of the year, responded by email to the claim that some of the money is missing: “It is incorrect that some of the funds have gone missing.

“Due to US tax law, there was an issue of liability, which I have assumed due to the request of the others who have been involved. The fund was originally deposited into a Cyclismas account which also had other business functions. It has been subsequently been placed into another account to prevent any confusion.”

Paul Kimmage did not respond to our questions.

  • Edna

    We have a new scam in cycling today – the Kimmage defense fund didn’t go to Kimmage and the people that collected the money at are covering up the news story.

  • Karole

    This ironic fiasco isn’t surprising in the least. I’d say there certainly seems to be some fast tap dancing going on to shift blame, by “ALL” parties involved.

  • Steve ostrofsky

    Hmmm, perhaps the money was donated to the Floyd Fairness Fund.

  • Jon

    It’s all gone a bit Father Ted – “That money was just resting in my account!”

  • Sam

    oh dear oh dear oh dear

    Meanwhile, the sound of non-stop laughter can be heard from the offices in a certain National Cycling Centre in Manchester, as well as from a hotel in Naples…:)

  • Ilsel

    This would appear to me as a private dispute. Wonder why this taken public without getting to the bottom of it first. What if there’s no problem? It’s OK to mention the Kimmage fund, but this appears to me as a personal attack and names should have been left out. CW should not walk to this tune. Sort this out privately first.