The Kabbalah Centre (its founders pictured at left), long a source of spiritual inspiration for Madonna, is indeed being investigated by the feds regarding personal expenditures by the family running the joint, the Bergs.
An August 2010 e-mail from the Centre's former CFO Nicholas Vakkur that the L.A. Times obtained states:
"I recently uncovered instances of income tax fraud...instances which could bankrupt several of the directors involved."
It's sad, but not surprising; I think many if not most of Madonna's fans have barely tolerated or been outright hostile toward this outfit. It has nothing to do with the spirituality (though its beliefs are nearly as strange as those of, say, Christianity) and everything to do with...who the fuck are these people making all this money? It has always seemed shady to me.
Madonna's charity Raising Malawi has also been "contacted." Hopefully, it will resolve itself without wrecking the good work Madonna seems sincerely to want to do for Malawi. But I also hope that her firing of Michael Berg (son of The Kabbalah Centre's founders) from Raising Malawi and now this investigation will lead to her exit from these mystifying mystics; it's about time she just realizes that nothing is what it seeeems.
What will all this do to Madonna's rep as an astute businessperson (I'm old enough to remember when saying Madonna was a great businesswoman was a passive critique!) that she's been this tight with people who might wind up being charged with financial misdeeds? What does it say about her manager, Guy Oseary, that he is right in there with her? Will they emerge with their reps intact?
So far, there is no hint that Madonna herself has done anything shady, so let's assume we won't ever have to endure pictures like those of screen siren Sophia Loren being carted off to an Italian prison.