Black Lives Matter activist Tyree Conyers-Page was charged by a federal grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio with three counts of money laundering and one count of wire fraud, after it was revealed that he had used over $450,000 in donations to his Facebook page for personal use, as reported by the Daily Caller.
Conyers-Page created a Facebook 501(c)(3) page called “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta,” through which individuals could donate to what they assumed was a broader BLM organization, but with the funds actually going directly to his personal bank account. According to the indictment, he used this page to defraud individual donors of nearly half a million dollars during a five-month period between May and September of 2020.
Conyers-Page had first created the Facebook page and registered it as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity with the IRS back in March of 2016, with donations to the page ramping up heavily after the outbreak of nationwide race riots following the accidental overdose death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The page’s tax-exempt status had been revoked by the IRS in May of 2019, after Conyers-Page had failed to submit the proper paperwork for three straight years. But he failed to notify Facebook of this development, so the social media platform continued promoting his page as a non-profit charity, which allowed donations to continue.
“Page is accused of using unprecedented tensions and uncertainty due to widespread civil unrest and a global pandemic to fill his own bank account,” said FBI Special Agent Eric Smith in a press release. This new development follows the previous announcement by the FBI back in September of 2020 that Conyers-Page had been charged with wire fraud and money laundering after defrauding over $200,000 worth of donations.