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The $3.2 Billion Dollar Prank

Getty Images/Scott Olson

Wow. That’s a prank of epic proportions. The Associated Press fell for a hoax that the largest corporation in the world was going to donate $3.2 billion dollars to the U.S. Treasury. Holy moly, Batman! According to a fake press release sent to the AP, General Electric was going to take its entire $3.2 billion dollar tax return and donate the money, as a result of public outcry over the company’s $14.2 billion dollars in profit it earned last year.

In the words of the fictitious news release, “All seven of our foreign tax havens are entirely legal, but Americans have made it clear that they deplore laws that enable tax avoidance.

“While we owe it to our shareholders to use every legal loophole to maximize returns – we also owe something to the American people. We didn’t write the laws that let us legally avoid paying taxes. Congress did. But we benefit from those laws, and now we’d like to share those benefits.”

The story is reportedly the work of  “The Yes Men”, an activist/theater group who create fake websites and stage events aimed at encouraging major corporations to do the right thing.

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