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Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales accused of expenses rort

"Because the last thing I want to do is take a break from fucking your brains out all night to work on your wikipedia entry."

The scandal engulfing Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has spread, with a former executive claiming Wales improperly used the non-profit organisation's funds for his own lavish recreation.

Danny Wool, who was effectively Wales' right-hand man for two years before he left the donor-supported Wikimedia Foundation last year, said Wales had tried to claim the cost of items such as a visit to a massage parlour in Moscow and expensive bottles of wine.

The claims come just as Wales' messy break-up with a girlfriend he met via his free online encyclopedia plays out in the public domain. It includes claims Wales broke Wikipedia's own conflict of interest rules by attempting to influence the site's editing process.

Wales has denied any wrongdoing.

"Jimbeau [Wool's nickname for his former boss] was certainly not frugal in his spending on his endless trips abroad, but when it came to handing in receipts, he could be somewhat careless," Wool wrote in a post on his personal blog.

"At one point he owed the Foundation some $30,000 in receipts, and this while we were preparing for the audit."

Wool said Wales, 41, later tried to claim the cost of a $US0.50 ($0.54) train ticket in Moscow, a trip to a massage parlour in Moscow and $US650 spent on two bottles of wine during a dinner for four in Florida.

Wool later said he believed Wales' questionable use of the foundation's funds stopped in 2006 after his credit card was taken away.

"I wonder if the students who gave up their lunch money to donate to Wikipedia would have approved of that expense," Wool wrote.

In an interview with the American newsagency The Associated Press, Wales denied having his credit card taken away but refused to comment specifically on Wool's other allegations.

Earlier this week, Wales was publicly humiliated by estranged girlfriend Rachel Marsden, 33, who released saucy instant message transcripts between the pair and auctioned off some of Wales' clothes on eBay after he apparently broke up with her via a statement on Wikipedia.

And while Wales denies he broke Wikipedia's conflict of interest rules by helping Marsden clean up her Wikipedia entry, the leaked transcripts, published by Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag, suggest otherwise.

They show Wales, who is currently going through a divorce, apparently using his influence to improperly make changes to Marsden's entry, which she claimed was wrong and libellous.

In one transcript, Wales tells Marsden he wrote an email to Wikipedia's internal editor's list recommending changes to her biography, which included tales of alleged criminal harassment by Marsden.

In 2004, Marsden, a former Fox News Channel commentator, pleaded guilty in Canada to criminally harassing an ex-boyfriend following their break-up. She was given one year's probation.

The chat transcript shows Wales going through proposed changes to Marsden's Wikipedia entry.

"Let's actually do this right now," Wales allegedly wrote.

"Because the last thing I want to do is take a break from f---ing your brains out all night to work on your wikipedia entry."

http://www.theage.com.au/news/biztech/wikipedia-head-accused-of-expenses-rort/2008/03/05/1204402516874.html


Engulfed in scandal ... Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales


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Added: Mar-13-2008 
By: Interloper
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Tags: wikipedia, jimmy wales, accused, of, expenses, rort
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