Black Lives Matter warned by California AG over finances

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Black Lives Matter warned by California AG over finances

California’s Department of Justice is pursuing Black Lives Matter over its murky $60 million coffers — warning the group’s shadowy leadership that it will be “personally liable” for any fees or fines.

The state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta sent a formal warning to the controversial activist group on Monday, according to a letter shared by the Washington Examiner.

“The organization BLACK LIVES MATTER GLOBAL NETWORK FOUNDATION, INC. is delinquent with The Registry of Charitable Trusts for failing to submit required annual report(s),” the letter stated.

“An organization that is delinquent, suspended or revoked is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or disbursing charitable funds.”

BLM was given 60 days to file tax and charity documents for 2020 — the year it previously confirmed collecting a staggering $90 million, with at least $60 million left over after expenses and grants.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta
California Attorney General Rob Bonta sent the formal warning to Black Lives Matter on Monday.
Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group via AP, File

That fortune sparked a firestorm from affiliates who say they have never received much-needed financial help, while co-founder Patrisse Kahn-Cullors went on a real estate-buying binge.

If it misses the 60-day deadline, BLM could lose its tax-exempt status and be hit with late fees “for each month or partial month for which the report(s) are delinquent,” the Justice Department’s letter warned.

“Charitable assets cannot be used to pay these avoidable costs,” the letter said.

"The organization BLACK LIVES MATTER GLOBAL NETWORK FOUNDATION, INC. is delinquent with The Registry of Charitable Trusts," the letter reads.
“The organization BLACK LIVES MATTER GLOBAL NETWORK FOUNDATION, INC. is delinquent with The Registry of Charitable Trusts,” the letter reads.
The letter states that BLM is forbidden from "solicitation or disbursing of charitable assets" while it remained delinquent.
The letter states that BLM is forbidden from “solicitation or disbursing of charitable assets” while it remained delinquent.

“Accordingly, directors, trustees, officers and return preparers responsible for failure to timely file the above-described report(s) are personally liable for payment of all penalties, interest and other costs incurred to restore exempt status,” it continued.

The words “personally liable” appeared in bold twice in the letter.

BLM was also forbidden from “solicitation or disbursing of charitable assets” while it remained delinquent.

Bonta’s letter was sent to an Oakland address for the foundation and did not name the group’s leaders who would be held responsible.

Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter was given 60 days to file tax and charity documents for 2020.
REUTERS/Jonathan Drake/File Photo
Patrisse Cullors resigned from her Black Lives Matter role in May, 2021.
Patrisse Cullors resigned from her Black Lives Matter role in May, 2021.
AP

Exactly who is in charge of the troubled group remains a mystery, however, according to a recent investigation also by the Washington Examiner.

Co-founders Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi had already stepped away from the group when Cullors also quit amid outrage over her finances.

Then, the two activists who were supposed to take over, Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele, never took up the roles because of disagreements with the “acting Leadership Council,” the Examiner reported last week.

That left Shalomyah Bowers and Raymond Howard as the board members seemingly in charge, the conservative outlet said. 

Howard was listed as the operations director, while Bowers was the deputy executive director with fiscal responsibility, according to online records from August.

Neither returned messages from The Post early Wednesday, and the Examiner said the duo also ignored numerous messages asking who was in control of the group and its millions of dollars.

The outlet also said both apparent leaders had removed online posts linking them to the activist group.

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