INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has filed a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter organization as the state investigates how the foundation uses donated funds.
The lawsuit seeks “compliance with an investigative demand previously served on BLM” in February, when the state’s attorney general’s office opened an investigation into BLM’s use of funds donated by Hoosiers.
Rokita’s investigation centers around whether Black Lives Matter’s actions violate either Indiana’s Deceptive Consumer Sales Act or the 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,” Rokita said in a news release Thursday.
According to Rokita’s office, BLM reportedly raised $90 million in 2020, and distributed $21.7 million to 30 local organizations and affiliated chapters, including one in South Bend. BLM’s IRS filing, though, claimed it had $0 in revenue, expenses, and assets in the first half of 2020, Rokita said.
“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.”
He continued: “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.”
Black Lives Matter could face sanctions, including being barred from future fundraising in Indiana, if it does not comply with the civil investigative demand, according to Indiana law.
After learning of the lawsuit, the Indiana Democratic Party issued the following statement:
Todd Rokita’s lawsuit against Black Lives Matter has little to do with the law itself and more to do with a national partisan agenda. If Rokita really did care about the rule of law, he wouldn’t have supported the Indiana GOP’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election AND he would hold Republican leaders accountable for breaking election laws.Drew Anderson, Indiana Democratic Party spokesman