Courthouse News Service reports that the head of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has just been accused of using the non-profit organization as his “personal piggy bank.”
The lawsuit was filed by Black Lives Matter Grassroots, specifically by Melina Abdullah, the head of BLM Grassroots and the founder of BLM Los Angeles.
The target of the lawsuit, BLM Global Network Foundation (GNF), is the administrative arm of BLM that has been set up by Patrisse Cullors to accept donations. Abdullah has been a frequent critic of the foundation.
She, after the lawsuit was announced, tweeted:
Today was a challenge for me. I am all for confronting white-supremacy, much harder to tell the truth about liars and thieves in our own midst. And still we must.
According to Courthouse News, the lawsuit specifically accuses Bowers of using BLM as his “personal piggy bank.” It also accuses him of “betray[ing] the public trust by self-dealing and breaching his fiduciary duties.”
The lawsuit talks about how “through a series of misrepresentations and unauthorized backroom dealings, Mr. Bowers managed to steal control over GNF as the sole Board member and officer.”
Courthouse News reports, “Bowers has taken control of Black Lives Matter’s financial accounts and social media accounts, shutting out its founders and most prominent organizers, like Melina Abdullah.”
GNF is believed to be worth “over $100 million.” It appears that Bowers is accused of taking about $10 million.
On the homepage of blacklivesmatter.com, Bowers posted a lengthy statement on the matter calling the allegations “false.”
“Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) is here to give light and fight for Black liberation,” Bowers writes. “Make no mistake, the allegations of Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots (BLMGR) are false. They are slanderous and devoid of reality.”
Bowers went on to write:
Melina Abdullah and BLMGR’s storytelling concerning the current BLMGNF Board is harmful, divisive, and false. It only gives fodder to right-wing media’s clear agenda of sowing distrust and division among Black folks, and it is in deep contrast to abolitionist values and the fight for Black liberation.
We’ll see if this defense holds up in court.