Getting rich on poverty law, or something

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We’ve had the number of the ludicrously misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center for a long time. It is a vastly influential left-wing hate cult operating in the form of a nonprofit fundraising phenom most famous for its supposed “hate map” and related designations. As such, it recalls the old joke about the Holy Roman Empire. It’s is neither poor nor devoted to law, though I would concede it’s based in Montgomery and that it may even be a center of something or other.

It’s not just rich. To borrow a phrase I first found in Boswell’s Life of Johnson, it has grown rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

Last week the Washington Free Beacon took a look at its most recent (2015) Form 990. It found more than $50 million in contributions and $328 million in net assets. Its business income tax return, from the same year shows that they have “financial interests” in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda.

Well, that piqued the Free Beacon’s interest. Pursuing the issue in a 2014 tax document, the Free Beacon found that the SPLC transferred hundreds of thousands to an account located in the Cayman Islands:

SPLC lists Tiger Global Management LLC, a New York-based private equity financial firm, as an agent on its form. The form shows a foreign partnership between the SPLC and Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P., a pooled investment fund in the Cayman Islands. SPLC transferred $960,000 in cash on Nov. 24, 2014 to Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P, its records show.

The SPLC’s Form 926, a Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation, from 2014 shows additional cash transactions that the nonprofit had sent to offshore funds.

The SPLC reported a $102,007 cash transfer on Dec. 24, 2014 to BPV-III Cayman X Limited, a foreign entity located in the Cayman Islands. The group then sent $157,574 in cash to BPV-III Cayman XI Limited on Dec. 31, 2014, an entity that lists the same PO Box address in Grand Cayman as the previous transfer.

The nonprofit pushed millions more into offshore funds at the beginning of 2015.

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 and run by a firm firm based in Greenwich, Ct. 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.

What does it all mean? The Free Beacon turned to Amy Sterling Casil for comment. Casil is CEO of a consulting firm for nonprofits. She found the SPLC’s offshore approach unusual: “I’ve never known a US-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,” she said.

She added this pointed remark” “I 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.” The Free Beacon has much more here, all of it of interest.

Today Jeryl Bier follows up on the Free Beacon’s groundbreaking report with this salient fact: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has $69 million parked overseas.” Jeryl secured statements from SPLC president Richard Cohen and SPLC financial adviser Cambridge Associates. They assure Jeryl that this is all par for the course.

That’s one rich “poverty law center” they’ve got there. The recent contributions to SPLC announced by by Apple and JPMorganChase (noted in the Free Beacon article) constitute little more than a glorified form of corporate waste by which management can bask in the warmth of self-love.

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