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06th Sep 2022

Black Lives Matters boss accused of ‘syphoning’ $10 million from donors

Tobi Akingbade

A statement says the claims in the lawsuit are ‘completely false’.

An executive at Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (GNF), is accused of “syphoning” more than $10 million (£8.6 million) from donors, the grassroots arm of the BLM organisation said a court filing this week.

A lawsuit has been filed against executive Shalomyah Bowers, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (GNF), Bowers’ consulting firm, and other unnamed individuals.

CNN reports, the suits said: “Mr. Bowers continues to fraudulently raise money from unsuspecting donors passing himself off as the organisation that is doing the work of BLM, padding his own pockets at that of his associates at the cost of BLM’s reputation.”

The filings request a jury trial while accusing Bowers of unfair business practices, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and other claims.

Bowers was hired by Black Lives Matters (BLM) co-founder Patrisse Cullors back in 2020 in the midst of the BLM protests that spread across the world following the murder of George Floyd.

He was brought on to help run the GNF which is an extension of the Black Lives Matter grassroots organisation, court documents revealed as per CNN.

The BLM executive has denied all the claims that have been levied against him in the lawsuit and said in a statement that the accusations are ‘harmful, divisive, and false’.

GNF slammed the lawsuit, filed by BLM co-founder Melina Abdullah, in a statement.

“Either Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots blatantly and intentionally lied with this allegation in order to garner salacious news headlines, or they simply failed to do their due diligence before making such a wild and unfounded accusation,” the statement said.

“Either is simply unacceptable.”

The statement adds that claims in the lawsuit are ‘completely false’.

The GNF added that the group has only ever made payments to Bowers’ consulting firm since 2020 and totally in-line with the legal contracts associated with the business arrangement.

These terms and conditions were approved prior to Bowers joining the GNF Board of Directors, the statement revealed. Additionally, GNF have worked hard to prove that claims against its executive are false.

GNF have just released an independent external audit, with an outside inspector investigating the group’s financial accounts for ‘accuracy and ensuring fraud and abuse were not happening’.

“As shown in the independent audit, there has been no ‘syphoning of money’.”

The statement also said: “The result of GNF’s audit was that the organisation’s finances are strong, healthy, and in order.”

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