Black Lives Matter Foundation Executive Shalomyah Bowers Sued For Allegedly Stealing $10 Million In Donations
The executive at Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) has been accused of stealing more than $10 million from donors.
According to reports, Black Lives Matter Grassroots, a nonprofit group that represents local BLM chapters nationwide, filed a lawsuit against global foundation leader Shalomyah Bowers on September 1. In a court filing, BLM Grassroots claimed he “siphoned” more than $10 million in charitable contributions to pay his consulting firm.
The suit reportedly is against executive Shalomyah Bowers, the foundation itself, the leader’s consulting firm, and unnamed individuals. The lawsuit stated,
“Mr. Bowers decided he could not let go of his personal piggy bank. 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 in Los Angeles, goes on to describe Shalomyah Bowers as a “rogue administrator.” The complaint read,
“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.”
Bowers denied the claims stated in the suit, saying in a statement posted on the BLM website that the accusations are “harmful, divisive, and false.” According to the suit, Bowers was hired by BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors in 2020 to help run the BLMGNF.
This isn’t the first time higher-ups of the organization have been accused of misusing funds. The news of the suit arrives more than a year after Patrisse Cullors stepped down from her BLMGNF position of executive director amid allegations that she used donations to buy four reported properties.
As previously reported, Patrisse Cullors admitted to lying when she previously denied throwing two parties at the organization’s $6 million Los Angeles mansion. At the time, Cullors said the property was purchased by BLM to serve as a meeting venue and campus, exclusively for official foundation business. She also issued a statement denying suggestions she had lived at the property or taken advantage of it for personal gain. However, it was revealed that she hosted her son’s birthday party and a gathering to celebrate President Joe Biden’s inauguration at the six-bedroom mansion, which was allegedly purchased in cash by BLM in October 2020.
In addition, reported tax documents revealed how Cullors spent charity funds. The Black Lives Matter Foundation paid nearly $4 million in consulting payments to its board secretary, Cullors’ brother, and the father of Cullors’ child. Financial filings revealed the co-founder’s brother, Paul Cullors, is paid more than dozens of other employees.
According to tax documents, Paul Cullors was paid $840,000 for allegedly providing security services to the nonprofit organization. It has also been revealed that the organization paid a company owned by Damon Turner–who the former exec. shares a child with–almost $970,000 to help “produce live events” as well as other “creative services.”
What are your thoughts on the lawsuit? Leave a comment below!