Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2022
The leader of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has been accused by former colleagues of stealing more than $10 million in donations from the organization for his own personal use, according to a lawsuit filed in court this week.
Shalomyah Bowers was called out in the court filing as a “rogue administrator, a middle man turned usurper” who syphoned contributions to the nonprofit activist group to use as his own “personal piggy bank,” according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday.
Bowers and his group denied all of the claims of financial misconduct and chastised those suing him for “falling victim to the carceral logic and social violence that fuels the legal system” in taking legal action against him.
“They would rather take the same steps of our white oppressors and utilize the criminal legal system which is propped up by white supremacy (the same system they say they want to dismantle) to solve movement disputes,” the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s board of directors said in a joint statement.
Bowers is one of three members of the board.
Bowers was hired by Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors in 2020 to help raise and distribute money to groups within the foundation.
But he instead engaged in self-dealing, giving grants to his own consultant firm and charging exorbitant fees reaching eight figures, according to attorney Walter Mosley, representing the plaintiffs in the case.