Tuesday, July 23, 2024

BLM Leader Charged w/ Fraud for Embezzling $450K in Donations to Phony Nonprofit

'Page is accused of using unprecedented tensions and uncertainty due to widespread civil unrest and a global pandemic to fill his own bank account...'

Tyree Conyers–Page, a Black Lives Matter organizer, allegedly misappropriated $450,000 in donations for personal use, according to the FBI.

A federal grand jury in Cleveland indicted Page, on four counts last week: three counts of wire fraud and one of money laundering of $200,000 in donations. 

The BLM leader, who goes by the nickname “Sir Maejor,” allegedly used a Facebook fundraising campaign for Black Lives Matter of Atlanta to defraud donors, the Daily Caller reported.

In 2016, Page registered “BLACK LIVES MATTER OF GREATER ATLANTA INC” with the Georgia State’s Corporation Division as a 501(c)(3) designated nonprofit.

But in May 2019, the IRS revoked its tax-exempt status because Page failed to provide the necessary documentation for the three years prior.

In August 2019, the IRS dissolved the corporation.

Page’s social media pages raised as much as $470,000 from June through August of last year, in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd‘s death, which triggered nationwide race riots and brought BLM back into the forefront of media coverage.

He spent much of that money on personal items like clothing, food, furniture and hotel rooms. 

The FBI said that he also used a large chunk of the money—$112,000—to purchase a home and land for himself in Toledo, Ohio.

“Page is accused of using unprecedented tensions and uncertainty due to widespread civil unrest and a global pandemic to fill his own bank account,” said FBI Special Agent Eric B. Smith.

“Page allegedly purchased homes, traveled, and spent other people’s money to buy luxury items for himself, all on the backs of hardworking people believing they were donating to a worthy cause,” Smith added.

Fortunately, building the case against Page was relatively simple due to his frequent online boasts about his lavish, charity-funded lifestyle.

“Numerous videos and livestream videos were posted to Page’s personal social media pages showing himself in what appeared to be newly purchased clothing, hotel rooms, and office space in Atlanta,” the FBI said.

“Several audio statements are made by Page in the videos boasting about the money he has, his tailored suits, his nice cufflinks and ‘$150 dollar ties,'” it added.

Black Lives Matter has also fallen under scrutiny for how it spent the funds it raised through proper channels.

Last week, Michael Brown Sr.—whose son’s death during a 2014 police encounter in Ferguson, Missouri, helped launch the social-justice organization into the national spotlight—demanded that BLM explain where all its money was going.

The group raised hundreds of millions of dollars in 2020 under the guise of addressing systemic racism and structural inequities. However, much of it allegedly went to supporting partisan election activity rather than nonprofit community activism.

BLM Atlanta did not respond to a request for comment.

Headline USA’s Jake Bruns contributed to this report.

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