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US Georgia Activist Charged With Money Laundering, GoFundMe to Refund Dontations to His BLM Group

17:41  27 september  2020
17:41  27 september  2020 Source:   newsweek.com

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GoFundMe has helped raise billion for everything from disaster relief to medical expenses to tuition for college students in need since it launched in But public trust in the crowdfunding web platform was shaken recently when a New Jersey couple who said they were using GoFundMe to help a homeless

Federal authorities arrested an Atlanta-based actor and activist on wire fraud and money laundering charges Friday, after an investigation suggested he purchased $200,000 worth of personal items with money donated to a Black Lives Matter fundraising organization.

a group of people posing for the camera: Demonstrators participate in a protest in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 25, two days after a grand jury failed to indict Louisville police officers involved in Breonna Taylor's death on criminal charges. The same day, the FBI arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly using $200,000 donated to a Black Lives Matter non-profit organization to purchase personal items. © JEFF DEAN/AFP via Getty Images Demonstrators participate in a protest in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 25, two days after a grand jury failed to indict Louisville police officers involved in Breonna Taylor's death on criminal charges. The same day, the FBI arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly using $200,000 donated to a Black Lives Matter non-profit organization to purchase personal items.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) identified the man as 32-year-old Tyree Conyers-Page, also known as Sir Maejor Page, in a news release detailing his arrest and charges against him.

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GoFundMe : The most trusted online fundraiser platform. In 2017, the GoFundMe community raised millions of dollars for hurricane relief efforts. Justin raised over ,900 for his Eagle Scout project to build a virtual reality center for people with Alzheimer's.

But GoFundMe said due to a change in where the money would actually be going, from As part of the rationale to refund money , GoFundMe cited Kolfage Jr.’s original statements on the campaign Just like hospitals which charge .00 for a bandage, a screw from a government contractor probably

Page, who operates an Instagram page using his alias, "Sir Maejor," often posts content related to social justice and the BLM movement. According to the FBI, he established a non-profit organization called "Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta" (BLMGA) in 2018, and opened a bank account under the same title. Page was reportedly the account's sole signatory.

The FBI's news release noted that BLMGA solicited donations through social media and GoFundMe, which similarly referred to the organization as a non-profit entity. Its investigation, prompted by a complaint filed with the FBI's National Threat Operations Center in April, showed Page's organization received more than $450,000 in donations between June and August, as demonstrations against racism and police violence erupted across the U.S.

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There are many online donation sites, but GoFundMe is the biggest. It has become a fixture in living rooms and hospital rooms, as a way to raise money for everything from a prom dress to life-saving operations not covered by health insurance. How does it work? Who gets the money ?

GoFundMe will reportedly refund all donations made to the campaign that was raising money to build a He said donors could redirect their donations to a new "501(c)(4) non-profit Florida Among the group of people listed on the GoFundMe page as being involved with the nonprofit are Erik Prince

Page reportedly said donations would be used to support efforts seeking justice for George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody, in private social media messages sent in June. However, the FBI is alleging he "repeatedly used a debit card linked to [the BLMGA bank account]" to purchase a home security system, furniture, clothing, accessories, entertainment and food throughout the summer.

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GoFundMe said it would refund donations to finance the Trump administration’s construction of a border wall unless donors chose to send their money to the organizer’s new venture: private construction of the wall.Credit Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.

Wills posted checks showing his donations to Ronald McDonald House What I wanted to determine was, Did his GoFundMe page make it clear that he intended to donate some of the money directly to S saved his messages from GoFundMe . "If you would like to issue a fraud complaint against the

In August, Page allegedly purchased two pieces of real estate, a residence and vacant lot, in Toledo, Ohio, with $112,000 in funds from the BLMGA account. Earlier in September, he allegedly transferred money from the organization's bank account to another personal one and used it to purchase a pistol and two rifles.

"Numerous videos and livestream videos were posted to Page's personal social media pages showing himself in what appeared to be newly purchased clothing, hotel rooms, and office space in Atlanta," the FBI said in its news release regarding the investigation and arrest. "Several audio statements are made by Page in the videos boasting about the money he has, his tailored suits, his nice cufflinks and '$150 dollar ties,' and boasting about 'my room way up at the top...at the top top...they put the bottom feeders on these floors....'"

GoFundMe will provide refunds to individuals who donated to BLMGA through its fundraising platform, according to reported comments from a company spokesperson who confirmed fundraisers associated with Page's organization were removed from the site, as well as partner site PayPal. Page is reportedly prohibited from creating fundraising campaigns using GoFundMe in the future.

"I can confirm that we removed the fundraisers associated with Tyree Conyers-Page and the Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta organization, which collectively raised $13,154. He has also been banned from using the GoFundMe platform for any future campaigns. If any donor would like to request a refund, we will process it for them," Madeline Purdue, a spokesperson at GoFundMe, reportedly said in a statement. Individuals who donated to BLMGA using GoFundMe can request refunds through the platform's website.

Newsweek reached out to GoFundMe for additional comments, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.

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