Indiana Attorney General sues BLM for lack of financial transparency

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News


Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLM) is under scrutiny for obscuring how donor money was used, this time by the State of Indiana. The Hoosier State’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the organization last week after BLM failed to provide the requested financial information.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita launched an investigation into the potential mismanagement of donor funds back in February after issuing a Civil Investigative Demand to the organization. BLM did not respond to this request for documentation and transparency. Rokita filed a lawsuit against them last week to compel them to cooperate.

According to BLM’s reports, they raised over $90 million during the racial unrest of 2020. Only $21.7 million was distributed to different chapters of the organizations according to reports. However, BLM has not yet filed an IRS Form 990 to provide full transparency on where that money is or how it was spent. Furthermore, the organization’s 2020 IRS filings claim they had $0 in revenue and expenses for the first half of this year.

For these reasons, Rokita began his investigation in February to “determine if the organization’s actions constitute a violation” of Indiana law under either their deceptive consumer sales or the nonprofit status. The AG stated on Thursday, “Protecting Indiana consumers from this house of cards is critical. There are concerning patterns of behavior from this organization, and we will do what it takes—including this lawsuit—to get to the bottom of it.”

BLM faces potential sanctions, including losing the opportunity to fundraise in Indiana if they further fail to cooperate with the investigation. The AG office is encouraging donors who might have been misled by the organization to file a consumer complaint.

“There are many Indiana stakeholders and donors who have been impacted by these allegations.  This lawsuit will allow for a court to swiftly and efficiently resolve the state’s request for information,” said Rokita.

Former BLM leader Patrisse Cullors said in April that filling out Form 990 created a potential danger for BLM cofounders. She said, “This doesn’t seem safe for us, this 990 structure — this nonprofit system structure. This is, like, deeply unsafe. This is being literally weaponized against us, against the people we work with.”

In recent months, BLM has found itself under increasing pressure to provide greater financial transparency. In April, New York Magazine writer Sean Campbell exposed the existence of a $6 million mansion secretly purchased by BLM in 2020. The organization has also taken heat for the purchase of a different $6 million mansion to act as the headquarters of their Canada chapter while Cullors’ $3.2 million purchase of real estate raised questions as to where her personal funds for the purchase originated.