Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit this week against the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (“BLM”) as a part of his ongoing investigation. This legal action seeks compliance with an investigative demand previously served on BLM as part of the same investigation. Specifically, the Office of the Attorney General filed a Petition to Enforce a Civil Investigative Demand, which seeks an order requiring BLM to respond to a Civil Investigative Demand issued to the organization in February 2022.
“Protecting Indiana consumers from this house of cards is critical,” said Attorney General Rokita. “There are concerning patterns of behavior from this organization, and we will do what it takes—including this lawsuit—to get to the bottom of it.”
In February of this year, Attorney General Rokita opened an investigation into BLM’s use of funds donated by Hoosiers.
In a 2020 report published by BLM, the organization stated it raised over $90 million in 2020, while it distributed approximately $21.7 million to 30 local organizations and affiliated chapters, including an affiliated chapter in South Bend, Indiana. However, an IRS filing by BLM for the first half of 2020 listed the organization had $0 in revenue, expenses, and assets held by BLM for the time period.
Attorney General Rokita issued a Civil Investigative Demand to BLM in order to determine if the organization’s actions constitute a violation of either the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act or the Indiana Nonprofit Corporation Act. The Civil Investigative Demand seeks information and documents held by the entity relevant to the ongoing investigation to ensure transparency to donors and guarantee funds donated by Indiana residents are used for their intended purpose and not for the personal benefit of BLM directors.
Under Indiana law, failure to comply with the civil investigative demand could result in sanctions against the entity, including barring the entity from any future fundraising in Indiana, among other possible remedies.
“There are many Indiana stakeholders and donors who have been impacted by these allegations. This lawsuit will allow for a court to swiftly and efficiently resolve the state’s request for information,” said Attorney General Rokita.
Hoosier donors who believe they have been impacted are encouraged to file a consumer complaint at www.indianaconsumer.com.