Fake activist’s $284K spending spree

 

The founder of a bogus Black Lives Matter charity was nabbed in Ohio after he used $US200,000 ($A284,000) given to the organisation for a new home, suits and guns, federal authorities said.

Sir Maejor Page, 32, previously known as Tyree Conyers-Page, was arrested on Friday following a raid at a home in Toledo, Ohio, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Federal agents said Page ran social media pages for an organisation known as Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, though its status as a non-profit was revoked last year after the required paperwork wasn't filed.

The amount of money in a bank account for the organisation never topped $US5000 ($A7100) until this summer when it saw an influx of cash amid a wave of protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in May, authorities said.

From June to August, the group received more than $US465,000 ($A660,500) in donations that were transferred to an account operated by Page, authorities said.

Page allegedly 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 said it was unable to identify any expenditures related to social or racial injustice efforts in the $US200,000 ($A284,000) spree.

Instead, a debit card linked to the account made purchases that included food, tailored suits, accessories and entertainment, authorities said.

He also used his own personal bank account to accept a transfer of funds from the group's account to purchase a pistol and two rifles, authorities said.

The FBI said that also among his most significant purchases was the home in Toledo and an adjacent lot for $US112,000 ($A159,000).

On social media, Page boasted about what appeared to be newly-purchased clothing, hotel rooms, and office space in Atlanta.

"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'," authorities said.

Page appeared in court Friday on charges of wire fraud and money laundering in the case.

He has been released on a $US10,000 ($A14,200) bond, but prohibited from using Facebook, attempting to fundraise or open lines of credit or banking accounts without permission.

His lawyer didn't respond to a request for comment.

This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Fake activist's $284K spending spree



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