Activist accused of spending donated money for personal use
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An activist is accused of spending for personal use some $200,000 in donations to what was represented as a Black Lives Matter charity.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Sir Maejor Page, previously known as Tyree Conyers-Page, is charged with one count of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. The arrest followed a raid Friday at a Toledo, Ohio, home owned by his organization, Hi-Frequency Ohio.
Authorities said Page created created and operated a Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta social media page and registered it as a nonprofit with state and federal officials in 2016. In 2019, the group’s charity tax exemption was revoked and the corporation dissolved after the required paperwork wasn’t filed, but the group remained listed as a nonprofit on social media sites and took in hundreds of thousands of dollars over the summer, authorities said.
Authorities said Page responded to social media inquiries in June by saying that donated funds were only used for “movement-related” expenses, not for “personal items.” But the FBI alleges that a debit card linked to the bank account was used for food, dining, entertainment, clothing, furniture, a home security system and a home purchase, and no expenditures related to social or racial injustice efforts could be identified.
Page, 32, and his organization were highly visible in local racial justice marches and protests over the summer, the Toledo Blade reported. A friend and fellow Hi-Frequency Ohio member, Ron Goolsby, said the home was being set up to house domestic abuse victims and he expected Page to be exonerated.
Page was arraigned late Friday afternoon and released on a $10,000 unsecured bond, but was barred from using Facebook or any fundraising or from opening lines of credit or banking accounts without permission. A message was sent Saturday to his attorney seeking comment.