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Non-profit tied to BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors failed to disclose donation, report says

A non-profit group tied to Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors failed to report significant donations to the IRS, according to a new report. 

Dignity and Power Now, a group that Cullors founded in 2013 to help black and minority prisoners, brought in at least $225,000 in 2016, but only disclosed $50,000 to the IRS, according to the New York Post. 

Because the group claimed it took in only $50,000, it did not have to file a return or outline all of its spending and donations to the IRS. 

Cullors, who resigned from leadership of the Black Lives Matter Global Network after backlash over her lavish real estate spending, is listed as the founder on Dignity and Power Now's website, and prior filings listed her as the group's board chair.  

A non-profit group tied to Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors failed to report significant donations to the IRS, according to a new report

A 2015 photo of the Dignity and Power now office in California shows Cullors listed as 'founder/executive director'

Though Dignity and Power Now only reported $50,000 in income in 2016, the group was given $100,000 by the Los Angeles-based Resnick Foundation and $125,000 by the California Initiative, public records for the two donors show. 

On Friday, the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed complaints to both the IRS and the California Attorney General, which regulates charities in the state, demanding an audit of Dignity and Power Now's finances.

'The obvious question is what happened to the money,' NLPC chairman Peter Flaherty told the post. 

'Given these circumstances, we believe that an audit is in order. Dignity and Power Now purports to speak in the name of the disadvantaged. The IRS must ensure that no one is taking advantage,' he added.

Dignity and Power Now did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com late on Saturday, and Cullors could not be reached for comment. 

It comes just weeks after Cullors resigned when her $3 million property portfolio was revealed, although she said the houses were bought with cash earned through public speaking and books she has written. 

It comes just weeks after Cullors resigned from the national BLM foundation when her $3 million property portfolio was revealed, drawing criticism from others in the movement

Cullors, 37, claimed at the time that her resignation has been in the works for more than a year, and had nothing to do with criticism over her financial dealings.

'Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don´t operate off of what the right thinks about me,' Cullors told the AP.

BLM Global Network took in $90 million in 2020, and was left with a balance sheet of $60 million by January 2021. Around $8 million was spent on expenses, including staffing costs with the other $20 million donated to local chapters and nonprofits,

Those numbers - and news of Cullors' property portfolio - led to questions about how BLM is spending its money, and complaints over a lack of transparency from bereaved families previously supported by the group. 

Michael Brown Sr - whose 18 year-old son Michael Brown was shot dead by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, last week added his name to the BLM 10 Plus movement, which is demanding financial transparency from national leaders of the movement. 

The group is comprised of the original 10 Black Lives Matter chapters, and is seeking transparency and accountability from BLM about how its cash has been used. 

The national BLM foundation took in over $90 million last year and said it committed $21.7 million in grant funding to official and unofficial BLM chapters, as well as 30 black-led local organizations.

Michael Brown Sr (left) is perhaps the most notable name to join the BLM 10 Plus movement, which is demanding greater financial transparency and accountability from BLM leaders

It emerged earlier this year that Cullors had bought this $1.4 million home in a mainly-white area of LA

She has also bought three other homes including this one in Georgia - altogether totaling around $3 million  

Records show some chapters have received multiple rounds of funding in amounts ranging between $800 and $69,000, going back as far as 2016. The #BLM10 said the amounts given have been far from equitable when compared to how much BLM has raised over the years.

Critics of the foundation contend more of that money should have gone to the families of black victims of police brutality who have been unable to access the resources needed to deal with their trauma and loss.

The BLM 10 Plus group released a statement last week that read: 'The number of chapters that have aligned in support of our statement has nearly doubled.'

'Some of these chapters have made their own statements echoing not only our call to accountability but also our experiences as we sought transparency, democracy, and internal transformation for years,' the statement continued.

'The BLM 10 Plus continues the call for transparency and most importantly, for principled accountability in movement infrastructures.'

The statement added: 'The issues we've highlighted within the Black Lives Matter movement are not unique to this group or to people of color.'

'Grassroots movements have been co-opted across the globe and it is our intention to be a part of the collective creating processes based on integrity so that we, nor any other activist or advocate, encounters these avoidable issues in the future.'  

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