As a torrent of concerns erupts concerning the activities of Black Lives Matter, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has filed a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, which serves as the parent organization of local Black Lives Matter chapters.
“Protecting Indiana consumers from this house of cards is critical,” he said, according to a release on his website.
“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,” he said.
His action followed a bombshell report accusing leaders of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation of funneling $6 million in donations for a luxury house in southern California.
Concerns over where money raised by the group actually went led Amazon to remove the group from its charity platform as multiple states banned the foundation’s activities because it did not comply with the rules.
Several states, including Washington, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia, have banned the group from raising money, according to the Washington Examiner.
In California, a state agency has filed a document saying that the group is “delinquent with The Registry of Charitable Trusts for failing to submit required annual report(s). An organization that is delinquent, suspended or revoked is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or disbursing charitable funds.”
The website Charity Watch gave the organization a question mark as its fiscal rating due to specific concerns about the organization’s financial reporting.
Charity Watch said the organization has been unclear about what happened to more than $66 million in donations, as well as who is deciding how that money is spent.
Should there be a federal investigation into Black Lives Matter?
Rokita noted that Black Lives Matter said it took in more than $90 million in 2020, the year of the protests over the death of George Floyd, and gave $21.7 million to local chapters, including one in South Bend, Indiana.
Rokita noted that that year’s IRS filing gave all zeros to the places where Black Lives Matter would report how much it received, spent and had on hand.
In February, Rokita issued a Civil Investigative Demand to bring the murky money trail to light. Getting no response, he has filed a lawsuit.
“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,” he said.
New York magazine writer Sean Campbell, who broke the story about the California mansion, said that the group’s initial response was “from [BLM leader] Patrisse Cullors’ lawyer, saying that my questions were defamatory,” according to Slate.
“When I reached out to experts about this, why might this be a problem, I think the biggest one is that this home was on the books for over a year, 17 months, and the only reason it became well-known was because I had asked them about it. And up until that point, it was only used by Patrisse Cullors and Melina Abdullah, who were connected within the organization, and for Patrisse Cullors’ personal YouTube channel, as far as we know. It wasn’t like this was being utilized for a number of reasons. There were actually members of the organization that were very surprised to learn of the existence of this home.”
He noted that the building did not appear to be used as the group’s headquarters.
“[W]hen you look at the address on the filings for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, it is not a physical address or an address that is a building. It is a mailbox in Oakland. So if you’re talking about purchasing property, any of those other organizations, they have other buildings that are office spaces that they at least lease, rent, etc., before they go about buying multimillion-dollar properties,” he said.