The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has filed a complaint with the IRS and FBI against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) and Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation alleging abuses of the tax code and/or criminal activity by the groups.
The complaint alleges a pattern of criminal activity and abuse of non-profit status, according to an article in Drovers, a livestock industry trade magazine. The allegations include:
- Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation has been accused of leaving dogs to die horribly in Asia instead of rescuing them – the group’s supposed charitable mission. Its Executive Director also served time in California prison for felony kidnapping.
- Direct Action Everywhere breaks into farms and terrorizes farmers. The group has also intimidated shoppers at Whole Foods, Chipotle, and other businesses. Its actions may well be in violation of the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The group’s activists are facing criminal charges in several states. DxE is funded by a tax-exempt charity called friends of DxE.
- PETA has given tax-exempt donations to fund the efforts of Direct Action Everywhere. PETA has also given money to the Earth Liberation Front (considered a domestic terrorist group by the FBI) and to defend an arsonist who burned down a university laboratory. PETA activists have also been arrested on numerous occasions.
Tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations must serve charitable purposes. The complaint alleges these activities are contradictory to IRS rules.
Will Coggin, managing director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, commented, “Harassing people in restaurants, deceptive fundraising, and breaking the law are not charitable activities. It’s past time for authorities to crack down on this charade.”