The head of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) has been accused of stealing more than $10 million in charitable contributions.
As reported by the New York Post, Black Lives Matter Grassroots, a nonprofit group that represents local BLM chapters nationwide, has filed a lawsuit against BLMGNF leader Shalomyah Bowers, claiming he “siphoned” more than $10 million in donor fees to pay his consulting firm.
“Mr. Bowers decided he could not let go of his personal piggy bank,” the lawsuit stated. “Instead, he continued to betray the public trust by self-dealing and breaching his fiduciary duties. Instead of using the donations for its intended purposes, Mr. Bowers diverted these donations to his own coffers and intentionally took calculated steps to prevent those same resources from being used by BLM for on-the-ground-movement work.”
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Los Angeles, goes on to describe Bowers as a “rogue administrator.”
“While BLM leaders and movement workers were on the street risking their lives, Mr. Bowers remained in his cushy offices devising a scheme of fraud and misrepresentation to break the implied-in-fact contract between donors and BLM,” the complaint read.
BLMGNF’s board of directors have since denied the accusations in a statement posted to their website.
“Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) is here to give light and fight for Black liberation,” the statement read. “Make no mistake, the allegations of Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots (BLMGR) are false. They are slanderous and devoid of reality.”
Meanwhile, Bowers told the New York Post that the lawsuit is nothing more than a “power move by someone hellbent on achieving power and control” of the BLM movement.
The news arrives more than a year after Patrisse Cullors stepped down her BLMGNF position of executive director amid allegations that she used donations to buy four reported properties.