A whistleblower from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ investment division told the Internal Revenue Service that the church had accumulated about $100 billion in accounts that were supposed to be used for charitable purposes, The Washington Post reports. The Nov. 21 document was filed by David Nielsen, 41, and alleged that the church was misleading members by hoarding extra donations made to the church rather than using them for charity. Nielsen, a former employee of church-tied entity Ensign Peak Advisors, told the agency the church should be stripped of its tax-exempt status and claimed Ensign could owe billions in taxes. The complaint alleges that out of the $7 billion the church collects each year from members, about $1 billion was transferred to Ensign, which put some of it in an investment portfolio. Ensign's portfolio has allegedly grown to about $100 billion today, and the organization has not directly funded any charitable activities in 22 years. Ensign’s president, Roger Clarke, allegedly told others the huge amount of money would be used for the second coming of Christ.
Instead of using the money for charity, Nielsen claims that some money was used to bail out a failing church-run insurance company and a joint-venture shopping mall between the church and a real estate company, the Post reports. Nielsen, who wants a reward from the IRS, and Ensign president Roger Clarke have not spoken publicly on the matter. In a statement, a church spokesperson said it "does not provide information about specific transactions or financial decisions."