Shalomyah Bowers, the new top dog for the national Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, is being accused of cheating the collective of activists out of $10 million.
Critics are alleging he was able to pay himself eight figures through fees from donors, according to the Daily News.
A lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that after Bowers became the organization’s head, he paid his own company Bowers Consulting Firm, cash and diverted resources from another collective, the Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Inc., which launched in June.
“Mr. Bowers decided he could not let go of his personal piggy bank,” BLM Grassroots charged in the complaint.
“Instead, he continued to betray the public trust by self-dealing and breaching his fiduciary duties. Instead of using the donations for its intended purposes, Mr. Bowers diverted these donations to his own coffers and intentionally took calculated steps to prevent those same resources from being used by BLM for on-the-ground-movement work.”
Bowers denies all of the allegations. He dismissed the lawsuit saying the plaintiffs are being led by California State University Pan-African Studies professor Melina Abdullah, who is trying to make a “power move by someone hellbent on achieving power and control” of the movement.”
“It’s the most insane thing I’ve read in a court pleading, and it’s signed under penalty of perjury when they know it’s a lie,” Bowers said before revealing recent foundation audits show no one has taken $10 million.
“We are in the process of correcting things, of fixing things, and dealing with disgruntled people who want to take over the group,” he added.
A year ago, in April 2021, one of the founders, Patrisse Cullors, resigned from her post after people alleged she was also stealing money.