On today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode legendary Utah journalist and investigator Lynn Packer discusses his recent investigation into possible fraud perpetrated by Utah Mormon Tim Ballard and Utah Mormon Attorney General Sean Reyes – as part of Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), which has raised over $30 million claiming to rescue children from sex trafficking.
Packer has raised concerns about Tim Ballard and Sean Reyes being involved in the following:
- Stockpiling $30M in donations that are not being used to save children.
- Excessive compensation to Tim Ballard (over $300k/year). – Unethical accounting that now is likely hiding Tim Ballard’s total compensation.
- Lavish expenditures (e.g., first class flights, 5 star hotels, dramatic helicopter appearances) with no financial accountability about how funds are used.
- Using false statistics to over-state the prevalence of child sex trafficking worldwide to lure donors.
- Using excessive emotion and religious manipulation to lure donors, including claims to be called of God, and to be protected by God in OUR’s work.
- Using affinity with Mormon celebrities like Mormon apostle M. Russell Ballard, Glenn Beck, and Elizabeth/Ed Smart to lure donors.
- Claiming credit for raids that they were not involved with. – Engaging in illegal and unsafe raids (jump teams) that often yield no positive results.
- Alleged unsavory behavior of jump team members, including illegal drug use during raids, sexual assault, etc.
- Drawing money and attention away from legitimate charities who are meaningfully providing solutions to the problems OUR decries.
- Victimizing and politicizing the suffering of children for political gain (Sean Reyes).
- Associating with and taking advantage of known false conspiracy theories like QAnon.
- Using the LDS Church’s law firm (Kirton & McConkie) to intimidate and silence whistleblowers.
- In summary, manipulating wealthy donors through religious and patriotic emotion and misusing or misallocating funds, all on the backs of a very vulnerable population.
Lynn Packer is best know for accurately exposing Mormon General Authority Paul H. Dunn for lying to Mormon church members about made-up World War II heroics and about playing professional baseball, all of which led to Elder Dunn being prematurely fired as a General Authority (and which the Mormon church tried to cover up through intimidation).
Please join us if you have comments or questions for Lynn.
NOTE: This podcast is not asserting that any of these allegations are true. Only that Lynn is claiming to have gathered evidence in support of these positions.