Project Veritas has ceased all operations due to a lack of funds just seven months after ousting its founder, James O’Keefe, Mediaite reported Thursday.
Human Resources director Jennifer Kiyak informed the staffers in a Wednesday letter, according to Mediaite. Six staffers, including all the remaining journalists and one development associate, were laid off, per the outlet.
“In the interest of preserving the possible future existence of Project Veritas we need to put operations on pause and, as communicated since the Spring, another Reduction in Force (‘RIF’) is necessary,” Kiyak wrote.
The nonprofit’s CEO Hannah Giles and ten other staffers reportedly remain at the company, according to the outlet. Former Project Veritas chief investigative journalist Christian Hartsock, who was laid off in August, told Mediaite that there were no operations left to suspend, claiming that Giles “canned the entire production staff of a production company, and the entire journalist leadership staff” at the same time he was laid off.
“[W]hat exact ‘operations’ has she been continuing with remaining donor money — given for the sole purpose of journalism production — for the past month?” he asked, per the outlet.
O’Keefe, who founded the nonprofit in 2010, left Project Veritas in February after his board placed him on leave as they considered ousting him. Employees accused him of being “outright cruel” to staff and of improperly spending the organization’s funds. In March, he launched the new O’Keefe Media Group.
Following O’Keefe’s departure, Giles stepped into his role. During an internal meeting in early September, she called the organization “bankrupt,” according to Mediaite’s previous reporting. (RELATED: Project Veritas Sues James O’Keefe)
O’Keefe’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, said Project Veritas’ lack of funds is “highly suspect.”
“It appears that in the few months since Project Veritas ousted James, it continued to spend money at the same rate, blowing through the many millions of dollars James had previously raised for it — despite PV having no new sources of fundraising. This is highly suspect and we would welcome a full audit of PV’s finances to learn where that money was actually spent,” he said in a statement to Mediaite.