One of America’s most influential nonprofits, whose racket is labeling mainstream conservatives as hateful bigots, accepted a huge amount of money from another nonprofit managed by noted financial fraudster Bernie Madoff.
According to Influence Watch, the Southern Poverty Law Center accepted $3,793,112 between 2001 and 2008 from the Picower Foundation. In fact, during the 15-year period between the turn of the millennium and 2015, the Picower Foundation was the SPLC’s single largest donor.
The foundation was founded by Jeffry and Barbara Picower in 1989, but its $1 billion in assets were managed by Madoff himself, until Madoff’s $68.4 billion Ponzi scheme fraud was exposed and his empire collapsed, along with the foundation. Jeffry Picower and Madoff were personal friends for 30 years. Picower was the single largest beneficiary of Madoff’s scheme, bagging more cash from the racket than Madoff himself.
The losses sustained by ordinary people due to Madoff’s fraud were enormous. Tens of thousands of people lost their retirement funds. For the most part, their losses could not be recouped, given that the money Madoff claimed to manage largely did not exist.
So what did SPLC do with the $3.8 million in dirty money that it received from the Madoff-managed charity? Did they return it to help make the victims of America’s largest financial crime whole?
Big League Politics reached out to the SPLC to ask, but the center ignored multiple comment requests.
The connection between the SPLC and the Picower Foundation has been scantly reported. It has only been mentioned in passing in a few news articles since the foundation closed in 2009. The foundation was the 71st-largest in America at the time of its collapse, and had donated millions to other nonprofits, including the New York Public Library and the Children’s Health Fund. It also made a $50 million grant to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a brain research center.
Jeffry Picower died in 2009. But as the powerful elite often do, his wife returned to a life of high profile nonprofit management in 2014, heading up the JPB Foundation and managing over $1.1 billion in assets.
Last week, the SPLC fired its own co-founder, 82-year-old Morris Dees, citing Dees’ failure to live up to an unspecified standard of conduct.
Big League Politics reported internal strife at the SPLC, and that female and black employees felt disenfranchised within the organization. That reporting was later confirmed by several outlets. Meredith Horton, a black female attorney at the center, resigned just weeks before Dees’ termination, citing the issues mentioned above in an email that was eventually forwarded to the entire SPLC staff.
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