For the Southern Poverty Law Center, its executive director Morris Dees and the other honchos, pimping out the word poverty has proved quite profitable over the years. They had a total of $238 million in assets last year, enjoying so much wealth other nonprofits can only dream about. The enormous assets are shown on the first page of the tax return.
The latest SPLC return is for 2010, has been available for public inspection since January and as far I can determined not reported on by the corporate or alternative media or across the blogosphere.
The last time I examined an IRS 990 for the Southern Poverty Law Center was in November 2010, and the big news back then was they disclosed that they opened an offshore bank account, in the tax haven Cayman Islands.
Their latest tax return on page 5 reveals SPLC has added to that account with another one in Bermuda. Federal tax law exempts SPLC and all nonprofits from having to publicly state how much is in the accounts in the two foreign countries.
Folks living in poverty across America must feel so empowered to know this organization is fighting to lift them up from their poor economic status, by shipping unknown of U.S. dollars (thousands? millions?) to two tax havens abroad.
On page 32 of the return, SPLC sheds only the most minimal required light on the organization's expansion using their vast wealth to engage in for-profit dealing outside of U.S. borders and tax requirements:
The Center has ownership in several foreign corporations. However, the center's ownership percentage in these corporations does not rise to the level of reporting on the Form 5471.
The Center is an indirect owner in several passive foreign investment companies on Form 8621. The direct owner has properly reported these investments on Form 8621. Therefore, The Center does not have a filing requirement.
I'm sure the SPLC leaders and their financial investment advisers opened the offshore accounts, and bought part ownership in several corporations and investment firms abroad, only to the degree that they can legally avoid being required to be fully transparent with additional details about the accounts and investments in other countries.
What I'm very curious to learn is how keeping hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in assets, several offshore bank accounts and part ownership in foreign financial firms in any substantive way addresses poverty in America.
Seeing the 2010 IRS 990 for SPLC and how big their endowment is, they would be more honest if they changed their acronym to $PLC because they are so wealthy.
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