California and Washington have obligation to investigate BLM’s ‘flagrant’ violations, watchdog charges in legal complaints

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The attorneys general of California and Washington have an obligation to investigate and penalize Black Lives Matter for its “flagrant” violations of state law, according to a pair of legal complaints submitted Friday by a conservative watchdog group.

The Washington Examiner’s investigation into the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the legal entity that represents the national BLM movement, which exposed the charity’s lack of financial transparency surrounding its $60 million bankroll and its refusal to disclose who has been in charge of the group since May, is cited extensively in the two complaints filed with the attorneys general of the liberal states Friday by the National Legal and Policy Center.

“The total lack of transparency and accountability for such a highly visible and well-funded organization is alarming and justifiably criticized by Black leaders at the local level,” the complaints state. “It is incumbent on the Attorney General to launch a full investigation of [Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s] finances and governance and to impose appropriate fines and penalties, including possible criminal prosecution.”

California and Washington both warned BLM in January to stop soliciting contributions from citizens of their states until the group forks over information about its finances in 2020, the year in which the group raked in millions of dollars during the nationwide social unrest that followed George Floyd’s killing. But the charity continued to solicit contributions from citizens of the two states despite the warnings, the Washington Examiner previously reported.

BLM said it voluntarily shut down its online fundraising operations while it works with compliance counsel to get back into good standing with the states, but NLPC counsel Paul Kamenar said the damage has already been done.

“While it appears that BLMGNF has finally shut down its unlawful fundraising activities, they are still liable for its past flagrant reporting violations,” Kamenar said in a statement.

“Our formal complaints filed today with the Attorneys General of California and Washington, who have ordered the group to cease its fundraising, demand a full investigation and audit of this group, and possible criminal sanctions,” he added.

by Andrew Kerr

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