Recently, the self-proclaimed leader of Black Lives Matter– Maejor Page– was indicted by a federal grand jury on three separate counts of money laundering and one count of wire fraud, all on behalf of the Black Lives Matter Incorporated charity fund.
Back in September, a left-leaning political activist was caught fraudulently using a Black Lives Matter Facebook page to collect money. He was arrested. On March 12th Sir Maejor Page was indicted, in Ohio, on four separate counts after pleading not guilty. In 2016, Page created the Facebook page as a charity in Atlanta so that it would be tax exempt. However, in 2019 the BLM Atlanta facebook page lost its charity status as Page allegedly did not file the proper paperwork for the previous three years.
Page said to NBC24 “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 and or silenced. 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.” Contrary to what he said, not only was Page indicted on four accounts but, he also is pleading not guilty. The FBI claims that Page used the facebook account to solicit over $450,000 while claiming that it was a non-profit organization. Where did all of that money go? Page purchased a house in Toledo (where he was arrested), went on vacations, paid a prostitute, and spent the money on other luxuries.
A couple factors played into how Page was able to make this scam work. Since Page used a well-known non-profit name, he was able to easily gain people’s trust and also gained popularity much more easily. He also moved far from Atlanta all the way to Toledo, Ohio which ensured his invisibility to the public eye. Lastly, simply by being online, he didn’t have to make any personal or physical appearance to anyone in order to gain money. U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan noted that “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.”
Page’s unfortunate decisions have consequences– consequences that even go beyond the time he could face in jail. Many feel that Page made the Black Lives Matter Movement look really bad. They see the event as the following: Not only did he tarnish their name, but he also left the people who donated his money feeling heart-broken. Additionally, they see how many hard-working people gave him a part of their wages and salary that they believed was going to be used for an organization they believe in. Many thought that money was going to a good cause.
Since BLM has been so closely related to the Democratic party, it’s likely that Page’s actions will affect how Democrats are viewed. With Page’s particular case it could really hurt BLM and the Democrat party. Page used the trust of his followers against them. His supporters trust him with their money to serve their beliefs. Now republicans, moderates, even democrats and BLM activists, have a reason not to trust BLM. Again, since BLM has close ties to the Democrat party this case could potentially harm their reputation as well.
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ARTICLE: SAM OBERENDER
FBA U.S. NEWS EDITOR: CARSON WOLF
PHOTO CREDITS: UNIVERSITY OF DENVER