BLM Scammed America? $60 million in donations are unaccounted for

Black Lives Matter’s façade is fading, and fading quickly. For several years, the Black Lives Matter movement has been the face of the anti-police brutality and so-called “anti-racism” rhetoric, but its financial dealings are now threatening to unravel the entire organization and movement.

Now, a report from the Washington Examiner found that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) violated at least two state laws on charity and non-profit organization tax filing regulations in California and Washington. The foundation, which is the legal entity that represents the overall movement, did not file its tax reports according to state and federal laws.

Adding more fuel to the flames of criticism is the fact that the organization has not declared who is in charge of its operations and finances after its previous head, Patrisse Cullors-Khan, resigned amid a real estate scandal. Also, its listed address is incorrect after the Examiner tried to track down its physical office location, without success.

In other words, BLMGNF is not telling the public where its $60 million in donations came from or where they went, and no one appears to be in charge. It is a situation that is ripe for corruption.

Could you imagine if a major charitable organization, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army, chose to not disclose how it used donations? It would cause a huge scandal and uproar.

But when it comes to BLMGNF, there is little to no accountability in the mainstream media outside of Fox News.

These findings echo our own discoveries, namely that Black Lives Matter is not transparent on its website. For example, it does not list its tax reports on its website nor did it list its board of directors, which is unusual for a non-profit that seeks more donations and funding.

It is also ironic that an organization built on pushing for accountability for police departments is not accountable to the public and its own donors.

In response, BLMGNF claimed it will stop soliciting donations from residents of those states. But, upon further investigation, it did not stop asking for donations while under investigation and contradicted its earlier statement.

Even more concerning is that BLMGNF’s donation page directs users to ActBlue, which is the donation platform for liberal and progressive candidates and organizations often aligned with the Democratic Party. Although ActBlue claims that it booted BLMGNF off of the platform, it appears that other BLM-like accounts still exist on the platform.

Typically, a registered non-profit organization must file its tax reports with the state that it lists as its operating base and where it garners significant amounts of financial or monetary donations by a specific date. In the case with the BLMGNF, it has not filed the proper paperwork in California and Washington since the November 15, 2021 deadline; a time period of almost three months.

The importance of complying with these filing regulations is to ensure that non-profit organizations are not skirting non-profit tax laws, such as not receiving political contributions, conducting explicitly-political activities like campaigning or canvassing for political candidates, and are properly spending their donation funds. It is also a safeguard against false advertising and grift, which has happened in the past. Some organizations, if they rake in enough donations, must list their chief donors or grant sources in addition to a list of their board of directors.

Although it is very technical, it is important for transparency reasons in order for the government (state and federal) and the taxpayer to see where the non-profit’s funds are directed to.

But this is not the end of the compliance issues: BLMGNF is also out of compliance with multiple other states, such as Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia. The organization said it will create a “compliance council” to bring the tax reports up-to-date, but it may not shield the organization from thousands of dollars in back fines and penalties for non-compliance.

At least two of its board members have gone underground since the story broke, Shalomyah Bowers and Raymond Howard. The Examiner found that Bowers had an automated out-of-office email set for the first half of February and phone calls went straight to voicemail. As for Howard, his LinkedIn page no longer mentions BLM after the newspaper contacted him to comment on the scandal.

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