BLM activists are suddenly uncomfortable about appearing on camera. That could have something to do with around $60 million in unclaimed cash gathering dust in the bank accounts, ever since Patrisse Cullors stepped down in disgrace. The alleged “charity” just did some fancy accounting footwork to avoid answering uncomfortable questions.
BLM assets in limbo
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is set up as a charity. Intended to serve as the face of the national BLM movement, they decided to hide behind some of those Guy Fawkes masks for a while.
The national organization “appears to have used an unusual accounting maneuver to further delay reporting what became of its $60 million bankroll from 2020.” One regulator “watchdog” started barking about that, as “the worst transparency issue” she has ever seen.
BLMGNF, it seems, “quietly changed its 12-month accounting cycle to July through June.” How convenient. “By going from a calendar to a fiscal year, BLM has until mid-May to report what it did with the millions that flooded into its coffers beginning in the second half of 2020.”
By the tricky accounting move they got away with reporting “a sparse, short-year Form 990 to the IRS that covered its activities during only the first half of 2020.” During that time, “the entity was entirely dormant.” It was still “a fiscally sponsored project of the California charity Thousand Currents.” Then came George Floyd.
As soon as Floyd was allegedly murdered by police “BLM exploded as a cause celeb.” Money was raining down in buckets and dump trucks full of cash were backing up the driveway on a daily basis. According to CharityWatch Executive Director Laurie Styron, “given the money involved here, this is really unbelievable.” She can hardly get her head around it.
“To not know who is in charge of $60+ million collected by the national charity arm of arguably the most prominent social justice movement in the country is the worst transparency issue I have seen in my 18 years as a charity watchdog.”
IRS stamp of approval
In July of 2020, the IRS got the stamp of approval from “the IRS to operate as a charity” starting in August. That’s when they broke away from Thousand Currents. TC made a direct deposit into the BLM account, to the tune of $66.5 million.
That’s about when Patrisse Cullors went on a real estate spending spree. The accountants already knew about the asset transfer agreement.
On Friday, in California, Black Lives Matter disclosed “that it began accepting direct contributions in late August 2020.” The only problem is “that transaction won’t appear until BLM files its next 990 form, due by May 15, 2022.”
Before they handed in the bare minimum of paperwork they could get away with, “there was no indication that the charity had changed its accounting year from calendar to fiscal.” In fact, when they asked for a “6-month extension with the IRS to file its 2020 finances, the group explicitly stated its 2020 tax year ran January through December.”
BLM board member Shalomyah Bowers signed the short-year 2020 Form 990 November 11, 2021. According to Ms. Styron, “adequate oversight of the nonprofit sector can’t occur if the public doesn’t have access to timely information.”
If the $66+ million was “mismanaged,” somebody is going to have some explaining to do. “Every day that goes by makes it less and less likely that any potential mismanagement can be fully reconciled or corrected. Time is of the essence.“