Black Lives Matter leader accused of ‘siphoning’ $10m from BLM donors, lawsuit claims | CNN


A Black Lives Matter World Community Basis (GNF) govt is accused of “siphoning off” greater than $10 million from donors, the native department of the BLM group mentioned in a courtroom submitting this week.

The lawsuit is in opposition to govt Shalomyah Bowers, the muse itself, Bowers’ consulting agency, and unnamed people.

Bowers was employed by BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors in 2020 to assist run the Black Lives Matter World Community Basis (GNF), an extension of the grassroots Black Lives Matter group, in response to the lawsuit.

Bowers has denied the allegations made within the lawsuit, which BLM Grassroots introduced at a press convention final week, saying in an announcement posted on BLM’s web site that the costs are “dangerous, divisive and unfaithful.”

GNF was initially created by Cullors “as an administrative group to boost funds to supply monetary help for native BLM Grassroots neighborhood efforts,” the lawsuit mentioned, whereas the BLM Grassroots group carried out discipline work.

Cullors initially oversaw the GNF, however in Might 2021 “determined that she might now not lead the GNF and that it ought to finish and transfer all the group to BLM Grassroots,” the go well with mentioned.

Throughout that very same month, Cullors briefed Bowers and Melina Abdullah on a “formal transition plan” of GNF administration, together with different inside leaders. Abdullah is co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of BLM.

Bowers took umbrage at this recollection of the occasions within the assertion posted on the BLM website. “BLMGR and Melina Abdullah learn a press launch claiming that Patrisse Cullors had created a transition plan giving all belongings of BLMGNF to BLM Grassroots. That is completely unfaithful,” Bowers mentioned.

“Mr. Bowers and the GNF Management Council have agreed to execute the transition plan introduced by Ms. Cullors,” the lawsuit states. “Nonetheless, Mr. Bowers, who earned $2,167,894 million from GNF in lower than eight months, determined he wished to maintain the “piggy financial institution” that GNF had turn out to be for him and his enterprise.”

Bowers was additionally alleged to disclose sure monetary and organizational info to different group executives, however “refused” to take action, in response to the go well with.

“Inside months, Bowers had pushed these extremely revered defenders from the group,” the go well with alleges. “Via a sequence of unauthorized misrepresentations and clandestine dealings, Mr. Bowers managed to steal management of GNF as sole board member and officer.”

The lawsuit additionally mentioned Bowers modified the passwords to social media accounts for the grassroots group and tried “to register the BLM Grassroots trademark utilizing the BLM chief’s emblem and design.” Grassroots, Angela Waters, in what seems to be an try to ‘steal’ the emblem or forestall BLM Grassroots from utilizing.

Grassroots group BLM mentioned within the lawsuit that Bowers siphoned off cash.

“Mr. Bowers continues to fraudulently increase funds from unsuspecting donors by impersonating the group that does BLM’s work, lining his personal pockets and people of his associates to the detriment of BLM’s repute,” the report reads. courtroom case.

The grassroots group department of the group is searching for a jury trial and accuses Bowers of unfair enterprise practices, fraud and intentional misrepresentation, amongst different allegations.

CNN contacted Bowers by way of his consulting agency on Sunday however didn’t obtain a response.

GNF has since responded to the allegations, in an announcement saying:

“The BLMGNF Board has requested – on greater than ten events – non-public mediation or conferences with Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots, together with and relating to social media insurance policies. We did this with a purpose to keep true to the rules of abolition – to unravel issues by mediating conflicts somewhat than being victims of the jail logic and social violence that fuels the justice system.

“However Melina Abdullah and BLMGR ignored or refused our presents. Reasonably, they might somewhat comply with the identical steps as our white oppressors and use the white supremacy backed prison justice system (the identical system they are saying they need to dismantle) to resolve motion disputes.

“Specifically, the narrative from Melina Abdullah and BLMGR relating to the present BLMGNF Board of Administrators is dangerous, divisive and unfaithful. This solely feeds the clear right-wing media agenda of sowing mistrust and division amongst black individuals, and it stands in stark distinction to abolitionist values ​​and the wrestle for black liberation.

“Subsequently, the BLMGNF is compelled to reply publicly to the assaults by Melina and the BLMGR in opposition to the BLMGNF and its present management. So reply, we are going to, with love, info, and a spirit of transparency that has been our objective for the previous six months, as indicated by the discharge of our IRS Kind 990 and BLM Transparency Heart.

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