The state of California's ethics office announced Wednesday that it would investigate the National Organization for Marriage for allegedly trying to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars it received in 2008.

NOM was formed in 2007 to pass Proposition 8 in California, a constitutional amendment to prohibit same sex marriage. According to the group’s 2008 Federal Tax Return, they received a $10,000 contribution from Romney’s Alabama PAC, Free and Strong America, in October 2008. However, that donation was allegedly not reported on NOM’s filing with the California Secretary of State.

In addition, NOM allegedly failed to report another $275,000 it received from 10 other contributors.

“The National Organization for Marriage has spent tens of millions of dollars to take marriage rights away from millions of Americans over the last four years,” said Republican gay rights activist Fred Karger, whose complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission in April led to the investigation.

“NOM is allowed to participate in these elections, but it must obey all state and federal laws and report where all of its money is coming from. Once again it looks like they got caught.”

Karger, the head of Californians Against Hate, has previously worked as a senior consultant for Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. He was also the first Republican to enter the 2012 presidential race.

Karger began tracking the activity of NOM in 2008. The following year, he filed a complaint with the Maine Ethics Commission regarding NOM’s refusal to disclose its donors.

The ensuing investigation forced NOM to turn over several confidential documents, which explained the group’s plan to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” and other political strategies.

“The Maine Ethics Commission and Attorney General’s office have done a phenomenal job of gathering evidence in the money laundering case I filed against NOM on August 24, 2009,” Karger said. “The 29 Exhibits they collected are proving to be NOM’s undoing. NOM’s veil of deceit and lies has finally been lifted.”

[Image via Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]