The Washington Free Beacon has reported in two separate articles this week that the radical leftist Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which is based in Montgomery, may not be so dedicated to serving the impoverished after all.
The report says the SPLC has transferred millions of dollars to offshore entities in recent years—the kind of moves more common to big business than to non-profits.
One of the Free Beacon’s articles says some of the funds have been transferred to accounts in the “Cayman Islands and other tax havens. The non-profit organization has over $328 million in assets and has moved a great deal of that overseas.”
The Free Beacon’s Joe Schoffstall elaborated, writing:
“On March 1, 2015, SPLC sent $2,200,000 to an entity incorporated in Canana Bay, Cayman Islands, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records… Another $2,200,000 cash transfer was made on the same day to another fund whose business is located at the same address as the previous fund in the Cayman Islands, according to SEC records…”
On his Fox News show, Tucker Carlson asked Schoffstall why the SPLC would do that, and the reporter replied:
“I cannot answer that question. I tried to get it from them but the accountant hung up on me; they did not respond to numerous requests for comments. We can’t really speculate on that…Most accountants, even Clinton’s accountants, would hand over forms…She just said, ‘I don’t comment on clients’ and hung up the phone.’ “
Amy Sterling Casil of Pacific Human Capital said, “I’ve never known a US-based non-profit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,”
The Washington Examiner followed up on the Free Beacon’s article, writing of the SPLC:
Its practices are fraudulent, but progressives such as Apple CEO Tim Cook and George Clooney have both recently committed large-dollar donations to the organization in the wake of violence that rocked Charlottesville, Va.
Observers on both the Left and the Right recognize the SPLC’s dishonesty. The group’s apparent habit of exploiting tragedy to amass tens of millions of dollars in donations that don’t always end up going to the poor has been explored in the past, notably by liberal journalist Ken Silverstein as early as 2000, making these new reports look even shadier.
The SPLC has received significant exposure in recent weeks for its “hate map,” which identifies the locations of organizations it calls hate groups. In many cases, these groups are nothing more than distinctively Christian organizations who express their First Amendment rights by advocating for public policies that acknowledge the intrinsic value of human life and the sanctity of marriage. According to the SPLC, however, expressing one’s sincerely held beliefs is tantamount to promoting hate.
In the weeks to come, it will be interesting to see the response of law enforcement officials and the IRS to the SPLC’s highly suspect financial moves.