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Emmy Griffin / May 19, 2022

BLM Tax Filing Reveals Scandalous Grift

Cofounder Patrisse Cullors claims there was no misappropriation. Humph.

Black Lives Matter (BLM), a Marxist organization that adheres to the preachings of critical race theory and advocates defunding the police, is in the news again. BLM’s 990 tax form disclosure has been released … and let’s just say it doesn’t paint a good picture of former executive and cofounder Patrisse Cullors.

As you may recall, the suspicious lack of transparency on the part of Cullors and BLM regarding how its vast income through charitable donations was spent had many states, including deep-blue California, crying foul. Cullors had bought several properties in Los Angeles, and rumors were swirling as to whether she would buy a home in the Bahamas. Then, she stepped down as BLM’s leader after the barrage of criticism coinciding with these purchases. People were wondering where she had gotten that kind of money. After Cullors stepped down, the BLM ship seemed to be without any leadership but with tens of millions of dollars at its fingertips.

The 990 tax form — a document that all charities need to complete if they want to retain their tax-exempt status — showed some very troubling things. First off, Cullors appeared to be the only one with a say in how the donation funds were spent. This is especially problematic since, in the wake of the BLM riots of 2020, those donor funds skyrocketed to almost $90 million. Oddly enough, we don’t recall hearing about BLM paying recompense for damages. Cullors called this windfall “white guilt money.” Power Line’s John Hinderaker is probably more accurate when he describes the donations as “protection money.” To some extent, these donors probably didn’t care what was done with the money as long as they were left alone. There were also true and ardent supporters who do care and wanted their donations to go toward protecting black lives.

To Cullors, the deluge of donations was overwhelming. She claimed that she had to build this organization up from nothing. She asserted: “There are groups that build infrastructure for three to five years before they become public. And they raise money, and they take their time. We didn’t have that luxury. We were building the plane as we fly it.” This is an interesting claim since the organization has been around since 2013. It was using a parent company to help manage its charitable funds, which meant that it didn’t have to disclose its finances. But in December 2020, when it filed for tax exemption, it no longer had that cover. Now, with the financial information being public, the UK’s Daily Mail lays out some of the claimed uses of those donation funds:

Newly released tax filings revealed that BLM paid $970K to co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ baby daddy to help “produce live events” and provide “creative services”

The foundation also paid her brother $840K for security services

A consulting firm run by BLM board member Shalomyah Bowers was paid $2.1M for providing the organization with operational support

The filing also revealed that Cullors reimbursed BLM $73K for a charter flight and paid the foundation $390 for private use of its $6M Los Angeles mansion

Cullors also admits that her mother and sister worked for the BLM organization and were on the payroll.

As Tom Anderson, the director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner: “This 990 shows why Cullors could no longer lead Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. I’m sure people who donated, in some cases their rent money, to BLM didn’t expect millions of dollars going to family members and close associates of Patrisse Cullors while thousands of protests were taking place.”

No wonder Cullors told audiences that she was “triggered” by the term 990. It looks awfully suspicious.

The way she went about building the BLM infrastructure was “not worth it,” she also said. “Because the standards in which we are criticized and scrutinized is very different than White nonprofits. We undergo a different set of standards. I did realize that. I knew that theoretically, I didn’t realize that.”

It is the classic bait-and-switch with the systemic racism accusation thrown in. All charities are subject to such scrutiny. If charities use donation money in a way that donors don’t intend, that is fraud. The attorneys general of Indiana and Ohio are looking into BLM’s 990 tax form disclosure. With charities, fraud is exceptionally hard to prove, but the way Cullors has been throwing money around has drawn a spotlight on her and BLM.

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