Lawsuit: Black Lives Matter exec accused of 'syphoning' $10M from BLM donors

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(CNN)An enforcement astatine Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (GNF), is accused of "syphoning" much than $10 cardinal from donors, the grassroots limb of the BLM enactment said a tribunal filing this week.

The suit is against enforcement Shalomyah Bowers, the instauration itself, Bowers' consulting steadfast and unnamed individuals.

Bowers was hired by BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors successful 2020 to assistance tally the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (GNF), an hold of the Black Lives Matter grassroots organization, the suit said.

Bowers denied the claims leveled successful the suit, which BLM Grassroots presented successful a quality league past week, saying successful a connection posted connected the BLM website that the accusations are "harmful, divisive, and false."

The Black Lives Matter instauration  raised $90 cardinal  successful  2020

GNF was primitively created by Cullors "as an administrative enactment to rise funds to supply fiscal enactment for local-level assemblage efforts of BLM Grassroots," the suit said, portion the BLM Grassroots enactment did the "on-the-ground" work.

Cullors initially oversaw the GNF, but successful May 2021 "decided she could nary longer pb GNF and that it should upwind down and modulation the full enactment to BLM Grassroots," the suit said.

In that aforesaid month, Cullors notified Bowers and Melina Abdullah of a "formal modulation plan" of GNF's leadership, on with different interior leaders. Abdullah is simply a co-founder of the Los Angeles section of BLM.

Bowers took umbrage with this recollection of events successful the connection posted connected BLM's site. "BLMGR and Melina Abdullah work a property connection claiming that Patrisse Cullors created a modulation program giving each of BLMGNF's assets to BLM Grassroots. That is perfectly false," Bowers said.

"Mr. Bowers and the GNF Leadership Council agreed to execute the modulation program acceptable distant by Ms. Cullors," the suit said. "However, Mr. Bowers, who made $2,167,894 cardinal dollars from GNF successful little than 8 months, decided helium wanted to support the 'piggy bank' that GNF had go to him and his company."

Bowers was besides expected to disclose definite fiscal and organizing accusation different leaders wrong the group, but "refused" to so, the suit alleges.

"Within months, Bowers had tally these well-respected advocates retired of the organization," the suit alleges. "Through a bid of misrepresentations and unauthorized backroom dealings, Mr. Bowers managed to bargain power implicit GNF arsenic the sole Board subordinate and officer."

Black Lives Matter co-founder stepping down   from organization

The suit besides said Bowers changed societal media relationship passwords for the grassroots enactment and tried to "to registry the trademark of BLM Grassroots utilizing the logo and plan of BLM Grassroots person Angela Waters, successful what appears to beryllium an effort to 'steal' the logo oregon forestall BLM Grassroots from utilizing."

The BLM grassroots enactment said successful the suit that Bowers has siphoned money.

"Mr. Bowers continues to fraudulently rise wealth from unsuspecting donors passing himself disconnected arsenic the enactment that is doing the enactment of BLM, padding his ain pockets astatine that of his associates astatine the outgo of BLM's reputation," the suit said.

The grassroots enactment limb of the enactment is asking for a assemblage proceedings and accuses Bowers of unfair businesses practices, fraud and intentional misrepresentation, among different claims.

CNN reached retired to Bowers done his consulting firm Sunday but did not person a response.

GNF has since responded to the claims, in a connection saying:

"The BLMGNF Board requested -- connected implicit 10 occasions -- backstage mediation oregon meetings with Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots, including and regarding societal media policies. We did truthful successful bid to enactment existent to principles of abolition -- resolving issues done struggle mediation alternatively than falling unfortunate to the carceral logic and societal unit that fuels the ineligible system.

"But Melina Abdullah and BLMGR ignored oregon refused our offers. To the contrary, they would alternatively instrumentality the aforesaid steps of our achromatic oppressors and utilize the transgression ineligible strategy which is propped up by achromatic supremacy (the aforesaid strategy they accidental they privation to dismantle) to lick question disputes.

"In particular, Melina Abdullah and BLMGR's storytelling concerning the existent BLMGNF Board is harmful, divisive, and false. It lone gives fodder to right-wing media's wide docket of sowing distrust and part among Black folks, and it is successful heavy opposition to abolitionist values and the combat for Black liberation.

"Therefore, BLMGNF is forced to respond publically to Melina and BLMGR's attacks against BLMGNF and its existent leadership. So respond we will, with love, facts, and a tone of transparency which has been our absorption implicit the past six months, arsenic noted by the merchandise of our IRS Form 990 and our BLM Transparency Center."

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