Whistleblower Claims Mormon Church Stockpiling $100B In Donated Funds

By Steve Goldstein, Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 1:41pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 9:15am

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LDS Mormon Temple Salt Lake City
Tim Agne/KJZZ
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple in Salt Lake City.

There was a startling revelation about the Mormon Church from the Washington Post this week.

A whistleblower filed a complaint against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accusing the organization of stockpiling $100 billion in donated funds but using none of it on charitable causes, which is a requirement for its nonprofit status.

The complaint also alleges that the church used $2 billion in member-donated funds to prop up church-run businesses — a failing insurance company and a mall in downtown Salt Lake City.

If proved true, that would be a violation of federal tax law. 

The whistleblower complaint obtained by the Washington Post accuses the church of misleading its members who are required to tithe — or donate 10% of their salary to the church each year.

Douglas MacMillan reports on corporate accountability for the Washington Post and is one of the reporters who broke the story.

KJZZ reached out to Arizona LDS officials for comment and was referred to a quote given to the Washington Post by Eric Hawkins, National Media Manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: "The Church does not provide information about specific transactions or financial decisions.” 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints First Presidency released the following statement:

"We take seriously the responsibility to care for the tithes and donations received from members. The vast majority of these funds are used immediately to meet the needs of the growing Church including more meetinghouses, temples, education, humanitarian work and missionary efforts throughout the world. Over many years, a portion is methodically safeguarded through wise financial management and the building of a prudent reserve for the future. This is a sound doctrinal and financial principle taught by the Savior in the Parable of the Talents and lived by the Church and its members. All Church funds exist for no other reason than to support the Church’s divinely appointed mission.

"Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information. The Church complies with all applicable law governing our donations, investments, taxes, and reserves. We continue to welcome the opportunity to work with officials to address questions they may have."

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