According to the New York Post on Tuesday, disgraced BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who stepped down last year amid scrutiny of a series of financial scandals, funneled several major six-figure sums to family members from the network’s donors. Paul Cullors, Patrisse’s brother, raked in $840,000 from the nonprofit’s charity funds. Damon Turner, who fathers a child with Patrisse, owns a company that was paid nearly $970,000 from the organization for “creative services” including “producing live events.”
“The 63-page Form 990 document, an annual filing required for nonprofit organizations to maintain their tax-exempt status, shows Cullors reimbursed the organization $73,523 for a charter flight,” the Post reported. “BLM insists she took the flight in 2021 out of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic and the health risks that come with it.”
Meanwhile, Cullors “already found herself in hot water after receiving a cool $120,000 payment for undisclosed ‘consulting fees’ by BLM.”
The document, published by the Associated Press on Tuesday, shows the organization that raised $90 million in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death ended its fiscal year on June 30, 2021 with nearly $42 million in assets.
A board member said the BLM Global Network operates with a $4 million dollar budget with tax forms detailing $32 million invested in stocks that are expected to serve as a permanent endowment fund for the group’s work.
“More than $37 million was spent by the foundation on grants, real estate, and charter on private flights, according to the tax filings,” the Post wrote.
Major purchases with little oversight have raised eyebrows in recent months as the group’s leadership buys high-priced homes in Los Angeles and Toronto for questionable use.
Prior to her resignation last summer, Patrisse Cullors used the organization’s new $6 million dollar California mansion to throw her son a private birthday party despite claims she would never use the property for personal use.
“I look back at that and think, that probably wasn’t the best idea,” she told the Associated Press after she was caught.
In January, the organization was under fire for an apparent absence of leadership overseeing its tens of millions in tax-exempt funds & drew outrage after the purchase of a 10,000-square-foot Canadian mansion in Toronto for more than $8 million.
“For BLM Canada to take money from BLM Global Network [Foundation] for a building without consulting the community was unethical,” Canadian BLM activists Sarah Jama and Sahra Soudi said in a statement following the purchase. “For BLM Canada to refuse to answer questions from young Black organizers goes against the spirit of movement-building.”
The pair of Canadian activists soon left the Toronto chapter afterwards.
But according to Cullors, questions surrounding the organization’s financial ethics are racist and the 990 nonprofit “structure” is “deeply unsafe.” ✪
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