SEC fines Latter-day Saints, investment company $5M for investment plan involving shell companies
Church members are encouraged to donate 10% of their income, and the church's net worth in 2019 was nearly $100 billion, The Associated Press reported.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its non-profit investment company Ensign Peak Advisers Inc. has agreed to pay $5 million for using shell companies to obscure its $32 billion investment portfolio.
From 1997 through 2019, Ensign Peak did not file the necessary forms, and the religious group, commonly known as the Mormon Church, became concerned that disclosing the portfolio would lead to negative consequences, the federal agency said Tuesday.
"To obscure the amount of the Church’s portfolio, and with the Church’s knowledge and approval, Ensign Peak" formed 13 shell companies, the government said.
Church members are encouraged to donate 10% of their income, and the church's net worth in 2019 was nearly $100 billion,according to the Associated Press reported.
"We affirm our commitment to comply with the law, regret mistakes made, and now consider this matter closed," church officials said after the FEC's announcement.