(National Sentinel)Â Charitable Conspiracy:Â One of the main groups pushing hatred and division, especially in the era of Donald J. Trump, is also one of the richest and has been moving assets to offshore accounts, out of the prying eyes of financial investigators.
That organization is the Southern Poverty Law Center, the same one that has labeled Christian religious organizations as â€œright-wing hate groupsâ€ and has now called for violence on military bases as a means of â€˜protestingâ€™ Confederate memorials.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, which reviewed the SPLCâ€™s recent publicly available tax returns, the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization is pushing millions of dollars into these offshore accounts as part of its business dealings. In addition, the group pays its executives six figures a year andit spends little on legal services â€” though it was supposedly established as a â€œlaw centerâ€ that fights â€œhate and bigotryâ€ via litigation, as well as through education and other means. (Related: Left-wing media, organizations brand others as â€˜hate groupsâ€™ just because theyâ€™reÂ conservative.)
The site noted further:
The Southern Poverty Law Center is perhaps best known for its â€œhate map,â€ a collection of organizations the nonprofit deems â€œdomestic hate groupsâ€ that lists mainstream conservative organizations alongside racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and is often referenced in the media. A gunman opened fire at the Washington, D.C. offices of the conservative Family Research Council in 2012 after seeing it listed as an â€œanti-gayâ€ group on SPLCâ€™s website.
The group has transformed itself into a fundraising powerhouse, raking in more than $50 million in contributions and amassing $328 million in assets, according to its 2015 IRS Form 990, the groupâ€™s most recently available tax form. The groupâ€™s Form 990-T, itâ€™s business income tax return, from the same year lists â€œfinancial interestsâ€ located in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and the British Virgin Islands.
And while no other information is available on the bottom of the form regarding those acknowledgments, the Free Beacon found some forms dating to 2014 that provided additional information regarding the SPLCâ€™s monetary transfers to foreign entities.
Form 8865, a Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships, from 2014 showed that SPLC was transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to an account in the Caymans.
The group listed Tiger Global Management LLC, a private equity financial firm that is based in New York. The form showed that there is a foreign partnership between SPLC and Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P., which is an investment fund pool in the Caymans. The tax documents show that the charity transferred $960,000 in cash on Nov. 24, 2014, to Tiger Global Investment.
Meanwhile, the Free Beacon noted further, the groupâ€™s Form 926, which is a Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation, also from 2014, â€œshows additional cash transactions that the nonprofit had sent to offshore funds.â€
Then, beginning in 2015, the SPLC began sending millions more to its offshore accounts.
When told of the transfers, tax experts seem baffled, the Free Beacon reported.
â€œIâ€™ve never known a U.S.-based non-profit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,â€ Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California-based nonprofit consulting firm, told the site. â€œMy impression based on prior interactions is that they have a small, modestly paid staff, and were regarded by most in the industry as frugal and reliable.
â€œI am stunned to learn of transfers of millions to offshore bank accounts. It is a huge red flag and would have been completely unacceptable to any wealthy, responsible, experienced board member who was committed to a charitable mission who I ever worked with,â€ she continued.
She added that itâ€™s â€œunethicalâ€ for U.S.-based charities to move large sums of money offshore. â€œI know of no legitimate reason for any U.S.-based non-profit to put money in overseas, unregulated bank accounts.â€
â€œIt seems extremely unusual for a â€˜501(c)(3)â€™ concentrating upon reducing poverty in the American South to have multiple bank accounts in tax haven nations,â€ Charles Ortel, a former Wall Street analyst and financial advisor who assisted in uncovering a 2009 financial scandal at General Electric.
And while top executives and staffers are earning between $140,000 and $345,000, the SPLCâ€™s staff of 75 lawyers reported spending only $61,000 on legal services in 2015.
Companies donating to the SPLC include Apple and JP Morgan Chase.
Update: The Weekly Standard has since reported that the SPLC has parked a whoppingÂ $69 million in overseas accounts inÂ a fund the SPLC describes as a “plan for the day when nonprofits like the SPLC can no longer afford to solicit support through the mail because of rising postage and printing costs.”
Given that 2016 contributions topped $45 million, that day has not yet arrived, theÂ magazine noted.
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