A political activist from Ohio has denied impersonating a leader of the political group Black Lives Matter on social media for his own personal profit.
Toledo resident Sir Maejor Page, a.k.a. Tyree Conyers-Page, was arrested in September on one count of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.
An investigation was launched into the 32-year-old after a complaint was filed with the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center in April 2020.
The complaint alleged that Page was fraudulently using a non-profit organization by way of misrepresentations and also posing as a Black Lives Matter leader.
Law enforcement determined that Page had created and operated a Facebook page named Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta (BLMGA). Page set BLMGA up as a non-profit organization, capable of accepting monetary donations, and also listed it as a non-profit organization with the fundraising website GoFundMe.
In 2018, Page opened up a bank account named “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, Inc.” to which he is the sole signatory.
Up until the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, the balance of the account remained under $5,000. However, between June and August 2020, BLMGA’s social media page received approximately $467,342.18 in donations, all of which was transferred to the Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, Inc. bank account, owned and operated by Page.
Court documents allege that in June, July, and August last year, Page repeatedly used a debit card linked to this same account to purchase food, dining, entertainment, furniture, a home security system, tailored suits, and accessories.
On August 21, he allegedly used the money in the account to buy a residence and an adjacent vacant lot in Toledo for a total of approximately $112,000.
“In summary, Page has spent over $200,000 on personal items generated from donations received from the BLMGA social media page with no identifiable purchase or expenditure for social or racial justice,” said the FBI.
Acting US Attorney Bridget Brennan said: “It is our sincere hope that these charges help raise awareness about online scams and efforts by some to exploit the name and purpose of non-profit organizations for personal gain.”
On March 10, Page entered a not guilty plea to all charges.