TOLEDO, OH- Keep on making those donations people.
The Daily Wire is reporting that a Toledo man who is a self-proclaimed leader of the Black Lives Matter movement in greater Atlanta stands accused of defrauding donors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, while using a “substantial portion” of those funds for personal expenses,.
That allegedly included buying a house and paying a prostitute.
A federal grand jury in Cleveland last week indicted Sir Maejor Page, 32 and previously known as Tyree Conyers-Page before he apparently knighted himself for three counts of money laundering and one count of wire fraud, the Department of Justice announced.
The DOJ accused Page of creating a 501(c)(3) Facebook page called “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta,” and then using the page last year—after the IRS revoked its tax-exempt charity status—to raise over $450,000 from donors.
The Toledo Blade reported that several donors were led to believe that Page was using the money for legitimate protesting purposes the indictment read, however he spend the money for personal items, which included entertainment, hotel rooms, clothing, firearms, a house and adjoining vacant lot and payment to a prostitute for sex.
Page spent the money in both Toledo and Atlanta.
“These allegations involve fraudulent misrepresentations that the donations received would support Black Lives Matter (Atlanta, Georgia) when, as stated in the indictment, those funds were actually used by the defendant for personal expenses he incurred in Toledo and elsewhere,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan in a DOJ press release.
“It is our sincere hope that these charges help raise awareness about online scams and efforts by some to exploit the name and purpose of non-profit organizations for personal gain.”
Authorities say that Page registered the organization’s name with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporation’s Division in 2016 and took on the role of president and CEO. Facebook then recognized BLMGA as a valid charity and allowed users to make donations.
Fox News reported that Page had parted ways with the official Atlanta affiliate of Black Lives Matter and then launched Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta (BLMGA).
However in May 2019, the IRS revoked that tax-exempt status due to Page failing to submit proper paperwork for three consecutive years. But Page allegedly failed to notify Facebook of the situation and continued to accept donations.
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Page was initially arrested last September 25 and has been free on a $10,000 unsecured bond with the condition that he does not use Facebook and refrains from any fundraising activity either virtually or in person.
Further, he was banned from opening lines of credit or bank accounts without first obtaining permission from his probation officer.
Due to coronavirus complications, federal prosecutors had obtained several continuances of the grand jury proceedings.
Page, who was notified of the indictment last Friday complained that he had been notified by the press instead of his lawyer. He sent a prepared statement to The Blade in which he complained of being targeted due to being a “social justice activist.”
“It is to no surprise that the government wishes to move forward in a criminal case against a social justice activist. I maintain my position that I did not intentionally commit any crimes, as it is my only purpose in life to fight for those whose voices have been muffled or silenced,” he wrote.
“Had I violated any state or federal laws I have no problem owning that and working to correct my actions. I believe that I acted in good faith. I look forward to a fair and just due process under the law.”
His indictment clearly had nothing to do with the fact that he spent donations on houses, clothing and prostitutes.
The DOJ further wrote:
“To create the false pretense and representation that BLMGA was a legitimate social justice organization, the defendant routinely made posts on BLMGA’s public Facebook page about social and racial issues, including those occurring in Georgia.
In addition to falsely representing BLMGA as a legitimate non-profit organization, the defendant is accused of using the BLMGA Facebook handle to privately communicate with other Facebook users and falsely represented that the donations would be used to “fight for George Floyd” and the “movement.”
As a result, over one hundred people donated to BLMGA through its Facebook page.
“It is alleged that the defendant used a substantial portion of the funds donated to BLMGA to buy personal items, including entertainment, hotel rooms, clothing and firearms.
The defendant is accused of using the largest sum of funds to purchase a property and the adjoining vacant lot on Glenwood Avenue and Maplewood Avenue in Toledo, Ohio. This property was to be used as a personal residence for the defendant, the indictment states.
The defendant allegedly attempted to conceal the purchase of the property by titling it to “Hi Frequency Ohio” and requesting that the seller’s realtor enter into a nondisclosure agreement.
This prevented the seller from disclosing that the defendant was the true buyer and that he used BLMGA funds to make the purchase.”
But hey, Page says he “acted in good faith” and he was indicted by a Democratic controlled DOJ because he’s a “social justice activist.” Doesn’t seem like it fits the narrative.
“Page is accused of using unprecedented tensions and uncertainty due to widespread civil unrest and a global pandemic to fill his own bank account,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric. B. Smith in a press release.
“Page allegedly purchased homes, traveled and spent other people’s money to buy luxury items for himself, all on the backs of hardworking people believing they were donating to a worthy cause. The FBI will continue efforts to root out fraudsters who victimize our citizens for personal gain.”
An earlier report from last September in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that Page also had set up a GoFundMe account, which was removed by that crowdfunding site. Refunds were also offered to anyone who donated through the platform.
“GoFundMe has taken action to ensure you can no longer start a GoFundMe for BLMGA,” the company wrote. PayPal also confirmed BLMGA was removed from its database.
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