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Whistleblower Says Mormon Church Stockpiled $100B Intended for Charitable Use

12-17-2019

A whistleblower is accusing the Mormon church of allegedly violating federal tax laws and accumulating nearly $100 billion in charitable accounts.

According to The Washington Post, the complaint charges that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been storing up and re-investing contributions meant to be spent on charity.

The complaint was filed by David Nielsen, a former senior portfolio manager who worked at Ensign Peak Advisors, in the church's investment division.
 
Listed as an auxiliary of the LDS church, it operates as a non-profit organization to help the church manage its money.

Nielsen is calling on the IRS to strip Ensign Peak Advisors of its tax-exempt status and alleges that it could owe the IRS billions of dollars.

In a statement to the Post, the church said revenues go toward supporting the church's mission and "investments can be accessed in times of hardship."

The Mormons generally collect about $7 billion a year in donations and $6 billion of that is dedicated to annual operating costs for the church. The remaining $1 billion is transferred to Ensign, which then goes into an investment portfolio to generate returns.

The complaint states that Ensign has not directly funded any religious, educational or charitable activities in 22 years, according to the complaint.

Documentation was not available to support this claim but is attributed to data that David Nielsen gathered while working at the company.

IRS regulations state that a nonprofit organization must perform a charitable activity that is "commensurate in scope with its financial resources" to support its tax-exempt status. 

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