An investigation published by the Washington Post on Monday night focuses on a complaint filed by a whistle-blower who alleges the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints holds $100 billion USD in a charitable fund from member donations that hasn’t been spent in over 20 years—but is instead reportedly intended for the “second coming of Christ.”
- The fund is held by Ensign Peak Advisors, the church’s investment arm.
- The complaint was filed with the IRS on November 21, 2019, by David A. Neilsen, a 41-year-old church member who worked for Ensign as a portfolio manager—but his twin brother, Lars, provided the Post with a copy of the complaint.
- Accompanying the complaint is a 74-page narrative by Neilsen, who alleges Ensign stockpiled $100 billion in charitable donations and deceived church members by doing so.
- U.S. nonprofits, including religious organizations, are tax exempt, but Neilsen’s complaint says Ensign should be stripped of its tax-exempt status by the IRS because it has not used the $100 billion on charitable works.
- Neilsen’s complaint claims Ensign president Roger Clarke has said the fund would be used should the second coming of Christ occur, while the Post reported that high-ranking cleric Bishop Gérald Caussc gave a March 2018 speech in which he connected the “prophecies of last days” to setting aside some “revenues each year to prepare for any possible future needs.”
- The church told the Post it does not “provide information about specific transactions or financial decisions,” while Clarke and David A. Nielsen did not respond to the Post’s request for comment—but his brother, Lars, told the Postthat David wanted a newspaper to write an exposé on Ensign.
Source: Forbes Magazine