The new leader of the national Black Lives Matter non-profit “siphoned” more than $10 million in fees from donors to pay his consulting firm, according to a lawsuit.
But the BLM leader, Shalomyah Bowers, told The Post the case against him is nothing more than a power grab by disgruntled activists trying to wrest control of the movement.
Bowers, who became head of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation in April, is accused of paying the cash to his own Bowers Consulting Firm, and diverting resources from a new group called Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Inc.
BLM Grassroots was launched three months ago, records show. It claims to represent BLM chapters across the country.
The new group was founded in California in May by Walter Mosley, the lawyer who also drafted the lawsuit against Bowers, according to court papers. Mosley formerly represented Black Chyna in a law suit against Kim Kardashian in 2018.
“Mr. Bowers decided he could not let go of his personal piggy back,” BLM Grassroots charged in the lawsuit filed Thursday in the Los Angeles Superior Court. “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.”
BLM Global Network Foundation paid the Bowers Consulting Firm $2,167,894 in 2021, according to federal tax filings.
Bowers dismissed the lawsuit against him Saturday, telling The Post “it’s a power move by someone hellbent on achieving power and control” of the movement.
He said a group of activists, headed by California State University Pan-African Studies professor Melina Abdullah, is trying to wrest power away from the foundation’s current board of directors.
Abdullah is described in court papers as having been “engaged in intuitive protest simultaneous to the online activism of the three co-founders” of BLM. It’s unclear what “intuitive protest” means. Abdullah could not be reached.
“It’s the most insane thing I’ve read in a court pleading, and it’s signed under penalty of perjury when they know it’s a lie,” Bowers said, adding that the Foundation has recently undergone audits that do not show $10 million going to him or his firm.
“We are in the process of correcting things, of fixing things and dealing with disgruntled people who want to take over the group,” he added.
Bowers said the new board did not include Abdullah in the reorganization of the Foundation.
The Foundation was rocked by controversy after The Post revealed in April 2021 that one of its founders, Patrisse Cullors, went on a real estate buying spree, spending more than $3 million on homes in Los Angeles and outside Atlanta. Cullors denied that the money came from donations.
Cullors resigned from the Foundation a month after The Post’s article. Later New York magazine revealed the group secretly spent $6 million on a sprawling mansion in Los Angeles to use as its headquarters, and another $8 million on a property in Toronto.
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