The California Department of Justice has threatened to hold Black Lives Matter leaders in the state personally liable if the organization does not produce financial reports within the next two months.
According to the Washington Examiner, the charity has a bankroll of approximately $60 million. However, it failed to submit required yearly financial reports.
“The organization BLACK LIVES MATTER GLOBAL NETWORK FOUNDATION, INC. is delinquent with The Registry of Charitable Trusts for failing to submit required annual report(s),” the Jan. 31 letter said.
The Examiner reported BLM has yet to submit its 2020 Form 990, which is required for charities that are exempt from income tax, and other financial documents.
The letter said BLM will be barred from “soliciting or disbursing charitable funds” until it produces the forms.
In addition, failure to produce the reports within 60 days would result in the California Registry of Charitable Trusts revoking BLM’s tax-exempt status and imposing fines for “each month or partial month for which the report(s) are delinquent,” the letter said.
“Directors, trustees, officers and return preparers responsible for failure to timely file the above-described report(s) are personally liable for payment of all penalties, interest and other costs incurred to restore exempt status.”
California is the second historically left-leaning state to raise concerns with BLM this calendar year. In a separate article, the Examiner reported Washington state ordered BLM to “immediately cease” fundraising in a Jan. 5 letter.
The letter also told BLM it may face fines of up to $2,000 for each donation it solicited or received. As of Monday, the charity had ignored the order and continued accepting donations, the Examiner reported.
Prior to these two rebukes, BLM was already out of compliance with charity registration requirements in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia.
BLM was described as being “like a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction,” by CharityWatch Executive Director Laurie Styron, according to the Examiner.
Lavern Spicer, a Florida Republican running for a seat in the United States House of Representatives, suggested BLM’s murky finances were intentional to hide where the donations were going.
“Black lives DON’T matter to Black Lives Matter, that’s why none of the $30 million they raised ever went to help any part of the black community,” Spicer wrote in a tweet.
Black lives DON’T matter to Black Lives Matter, that’s why none of the $30 million they raised ever went to help any part of the black community.
— Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) February 2, 2022
BLM does not currently have an identified leader, the Examiner reported. Co-founder Patrisse Cullors resigned in May 2021.
Cullors named two fellow activists to take over the executive director role, but they later revealed they denied the job after disagreements with the charity.
Cullors’ resignation also resulted at least in part from the organization’s questionable finances. According to an April 2021 report from the New York Post, Cullors bought four lavish homes during her time at the helm of BLM.
The properties she purchased included a $1.4 million house near Malibu, California, and a “custom ranch” on a 3.2 acre plot in Georgia — complete with an airplane hangar and swimming pool.
Hawk Newsome, the head of a separate group called Black Lives Matter Greater New York City, told the Post that Cullors’ spending spree damaged the credibility of the BLM movement.
“If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes,” he said. “It’s really sad because it makes people doubt the validity of the movement and overlook the fact that it’s the people that carry this movement.”
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