Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit this week against a national Black Lives Matter charity for failing to fork over information about its finances.
The lawsuit is part of an investigation Rokita launched against the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation in February that is seeking to determine whether the embattled charity violated Indiana state law by deceiving donors and misapplying its assets.
“Protecting Indiana consumers from this house of cards is critical,” Rokita said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
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The foundation claimed to have raised $90 million in 2020 in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing, but the charity has yet to file an IRS Form 990 disclosing what it did with the funds. The charity was exposed in early April for trying to conceal its cash purchase of a $6 million Los Angeles mansion with donor funds in October 2020, which a watchdog group alleged could be a violation of IRS charity laws.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has also yet to announce publicly who has been in charge of the charity since its co-founder Patrisse Cullors resigned in May 2021 amid the scrutiny of her own real estate purchases. However, the group did disclose in filings to California and New Mexico in February that Bill and Hillary Clinton insider Minyon Moore and the law firm run by Democratic lawyer Marc Elias had taken up key roles with the charity.
And in February, the foundation shut off its ability to raise funds amid legal threats from California and Washington over its lack of financial and operational transparency.
I filed a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter organization to protect Hoosiers from this house of cards. BLM has concerning patterns of behavior & we’ll do what it takes to get to the bottom of it on behalf of generous Hoosiers who have donated to them.https://t.co/5U2lJtU7cO— Todd Rokita (@AGToddRokita) April 28, 2022
Rokita sent a civil investigative demand to the charity on Feb. 23 that requested the charity to disclose all of the property it owns in Indiana, as well as produce a general ledger showing all payments and the recipients of those payments that the charity has made since January 2020.
The foundation did not respond by Rokita's March 25 deadline, he said in his lawsuit Tuesday. The attorney general's lawsuit requested state courts to compel the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation to comply with his records request.
“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,” Rokita said.
He added that the foundation could be barred from future fundraising in Indiana if the charity fails to comply with his demand.
Cullors, who was in control of the foundation while it raked in $90 million in 2020 and spent $6 million on its Los Angeles mansion, said during an event in early April that she finds it "triggering" whenever she hears terms such as IRS Form 990, which is the document charities are required to disclose to the public detailing their financial activities.
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She added that activists suffer trauma and their lives are put at risk when their charities are required to disclose publicly what they did with their tax-deductible donations.
"This doesn't seem safe for us, this 990 structure — this nonprofit system structure," Cullors said. "This is, like, deeply unsafe. This is being literally weaponized against us, against the people we work with."