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Go Mission Foundation failed to pay drone company, claims former secretary is to blame

This article first appeared in the September 8 issue of the Progress Times.

The Go Mission Foundation is accepting financial transparency following a failed payment to Sky Elements. The Board, while offering transparency, is claiming their former secretary is responsible for the failed payment and could be stealing money from the organization’s account.

On September 8, 2022, the Go Mission Foundation set an agreement with Sky Elements, a drone show company, to create a light show for the Veteran’s Day Festival hosted by the city of Mission.

The Go Mission Foundation is a non-profit 501c organization. A 501c confers tax-exempt status under the United States Internal Revenue Code, meaning they are exempt from paying federal income taxes. This goes for public charities, private foundations, or private operating foundations.

However, in an email dated August 14, 2023, two checks of $15,000 from an anonymous donor failed to go through to the company for the services provided.

Go Mission Foundation Board Members claim that former secretary Jessica Iglesias, daughter of Mission CISD School Board Vice President Iris Iglesias, withdrew funds from the organization’s bank account.

“I was informed by two so-called rumors that George Rice and the City [Mission] had found out there was no payment made,” said Go Mission Board President Corina Alaniz. “That’s when I asked Jessica Iglesias for a copy of the receipt of payment.”

Yet the receipt for payment meant to be sent the previous year via mail was not provided, according to Alaniz.

“She said that she would work on it Monday morning,” the board president said. “The next morning, we found out that Jessica Iglesias made a $15,000 check payment to Sky Elements.”

The check bounced on August 11, 2023, meaning the organization still owed the company $30,000. The Board scheduled a meeting with Jessica and her parents after discovering the insufficient fund payment.

Going into the meeting, the Board sought out the reason for the lack of payment and why the Iglesias family [Moises and N. Iris] felt they were responsible for making the payment.

“We presented everything to Mr. and Mrs. Iglesias,” said Alaniz. “They told us they would be making the check themselves personally.”

When asked why her parents offered to pay the $30,000 for Sky Elements, Iglesias couldn’t comment.

“I don’t even know how to comment on that,” Iglesias said, stating the initial $15,000 came from her parents personal banking account.

Alaniz said Iglesias’ reasoning for the payment not being made was due to the anonymous sponsor backing out at the last minute.

“She said the sponsor wanted to stay anonymous,” Alaniz said. “But us still being members of the foundation, if she knew, we should’ve known also. Just for our records.”

Members did not speak to the anonymous donor after being denied the name or direct contact by Iglesias.

Iglesias claims that no sponsor was secured.

“We were trying to get a sponsor to pay for it,” she said, claiming someone would confirm but then back out.

“Towards the end, I was still scrambling trying to find a sponsor,” Jessica said, claiming that the issue with no sponsor happened after the Veterans Day drone show. “After that, the sponsorship never came through.”

Emails between Iglesias and Sky Elements Activation Specialist Tory Weisman show discussion of a $30,000 for services on September 30, 2022.

On November 2, 2022, Weisman sent two invoices, a deposit and a final for services.

“I know when we spoke last you were potentially going to do 3 separate payments, maybe $10K each,” wrote Weisman. “For the check you are about to mail, what will the total be? We can always create a separate invoice and deduct the check amount from it.”

Iglesias replied and wrote that an initial check would be sent out that Friday.

The $15,000 checks Iglesias claimed to send out in 2022 were never received by Sky Elements.

In a forwarded email, Intuit financial services notified Sky Elements of a bounced check.

“Your customer’s bank returned a check you processed,” it said. The transaction is dated August 8, 2023, and the return date only three days later, August 11.

The return reason was due to insufficient funds. Three days later, the owed $30,000 was paid in full.

The lack of payment to Sky Elements is not the only financial issue the Go Mission Foundation faces.

Since the Veteran’s Day Golf Tournament, the foundation has been dormant from any events and has not collected donations since November 2022.

During their last meeting of 2022, at a Christmas dinner in December, the foundation had $7K in their bank account. Nine months later, their bank account sits at $59.

“Once I checked all the bank statements, all our money was moved through CashApp,” Alaniz said, stating that Iglesias, just like all other members, had access to the CashApp account. “The debit card had been in a safe since November.”

According to Alaniz, she claims Cash App statements, not yet released, show that money totaling $3,553.21 was transferred to Jessica Iglesias’ personal CashApp alongside other transactions to Bancorp, connected to a Chime card presumably belonging to her, but not confirmed. The foundation was paid that sum by check number 658 from the personal account of Moises and Nelda Iris Iglesias on September 5.

Alaniz believes Iglesias is responsible for the bounced payment and the missing money within the account due to her employment at Brickfire, an establishment also owned by Alaniz. Iglesias was terminated due to theft, according to Alaniz.

She said Jessica took accountability for the theft of $1,300 and returned the funds.

Iglesias, however, claimed she left voluntarily for another career opportunity and is pursuing real estate.

Despite the organization filing an incident report with the Mission Police Department, the foundation has decided to not press charges.

“It’s a civil matter,” said Mission Chief of Police Cesar Torres. “Civil matters are referred to the Justice of the Peace.”

The Go Mission Foundation, a 501c non-profit organization, has not solicited donations since November 2022. They urge the community not to make any donations to the organization if approached by anyone because the future of the organization is unknown.

Iglesias has no longer been part of the Go Mission Foundation since the start of August due to allegations.

She did not comment on the allegation of withdrawing thousands from the Go Mission bank account but does admit fault in not letting the board know about the lack of a sponsor.

“That I do regret,” she said. “I should’ve handled it better. But it’s been taken care of.”

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