Mormons fined $5m for hiding $32bn of wealth

In the classic American tradition of fines so tiny they are easily accounted for as a cost of doing business, the Chuch of Latter-Day Saints is to pay $5m for hiding $32bn worth of investments behind shell companies.

The allegations of the illicit shell company structure first emerged in 2018, when a group formerly called MormonLeaks — now known as the Truth and Transparency Foundation — claimed that year the extent of the church's investments had reached $32 billion.

The following year, a whistleblower filed a complaint to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a 2020 Wall Street Journal report; that year, the newspaper said the church's holdings had grown to $100 billion.

"For more than half a century, the Mormon Church quietly built one of the world's largest investment funds," the Journal said. "Almost no one outside the church knew about it."

In a statement, the church "regrets mistakes made, and considers the matter closed."

Just imagine the scale of the profits made therein, then wonder if that $5m fine even pays for the cost of the investigation.