Washington Targets Mormon Church’s $100B Fund For ‘Second Coming’

  • The Securities Exchange Commission is investigating the Mormon Church over allegations it failed to disclose investments in a secretive $100 billion portfolio
  • The investigation comes just over three years after whistle-blower David Nielsen—a member of the church and former Ensign Peak investment manager—tipped the Internal Revenue Service that the firm had amassed $100 billion in a little-known charitable fund it collected from donations. None of that money had been spent for 20 years, according to Nielsen, who filed a complaint to the IRS in November 2019, in an attempt to strip Ensign of its tax-exempt status as a branch of a religious organization because the church hadn’t used the money on charitable works. Nielsen said the firm’s leader had instead suggested to staff that the church intended to keep the money for the “second coming of Christ,” which, according to Mormon teachings, will be marked by war (the head of Ensign Park told the Journal his comments were misinterpreted). The church denied any tax violations in interviews with the Wall Street Journal.