Mormon church is sued by three members seeking class action status, claiming ... trends now
The Mormon church is being sued by three men who claim that it took $348,000 in donations they believed were for charitable causes, then used the money for its own investments.
The trio, who filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, are seeking to make their case a class-action suit, and want an independent entity to oversee collection and use of donations made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Their lawsuit is separate from, but similar to, one filed by James Huntsman, the scion of a prominent Mormon family whose brother Jon was the governor of Utah and a presidential candidate, and U.S. ambassador to Russia, China and Singapore.
James Huntsman in August told DailyMail.com that the institution is 'in dire straits' as followers begin questioning the integrity of its leadership.
The three men behind Tuesday's suit - Daniel Chappell, of Virginia, and Masen Christensen and John Oaks, both of Utah - are challenging the spending by the church of tithes, the 10 percent donation that all members are required to make.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is believed to be worth $236 billion. It is now facing lawsuits over its handling of donations
The lawsuit filed by the three included images the church used to solicit donations
Members of the church are required to submit 'tithing slips' donating a tenth of their income
Chappell said that, since January 1, 2013, he has donated $108,000.
Christensen, who in the court documents states he remains a member of the Church, and will continue paying tithes provided the structure is changed, says he donated $120,000 plus $46,000 though 'donor-advised funds' - a tax efficient way of giving.
Oaks says he has given $74,000.
The church does not make its finances public, but a group calling itself The Widow's Mite estimated that the