Sir Maejor Page, also known as Tyree Conyers-Page, of Toledo, Ohio, was indicted on March 12 on three counts of money laundering and one count of wire fraud, according to the DOJ. The department said he created a Facebook page called “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta” and defrauded donors of more than $450,000 before the IRS revoked his tax-exempt status as a charity.
Page, 32, told local media that he didn’t “intentionally” commit any crimes.
“It is to no surprise that the government wishes to move forward in a criminal case against a social justice activist,” he told the Toledo Blade last week. “I maintain my position that I did not intentionally commit any crimes, as it is my only purpose in life to fight for those whose voices have been muffled and or silenced. Had I violated any state or federal laws, I have no problem owning that and working to correct my actions. I believe that I acted in good faith. I look forward to a fair and just due process under the law.”
According to the DOJ, Page set up the allegedly false charity in May 2020, which lasted at least through the summer of that year, when mass protests, riots, and violence wracked major U.S. cities following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Page, according to the DOJ, said the funds “would be used to combat racial and social injustices when in truth, the organization was no longer an established charity and the defendant was using the donations for his personal benefit.”
Four years earlier, he had created the Facebook page called “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta” as a 501(c)(3) domestic nonprofit corporation with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporation’s Division. In 2019, the organization’s charity status was revoked due to failure to submit IRS Form 990 for three consecutive years.
According to the news release: “It is alleged that the defendant failed to notify Facebook of these revocations or ask that Facebook stop displaying BLMGA as a non-profit organization. As a result, BMLGA’s Facebook page continued to be displayed as a non-profit organization with a donation button through the end of September 2020, and Facebook continued to collect and disperse the purported charity donations on a bi-monthly basis.”
Page then allegedly used a “substantial portion” of the donations to purchase personal items such as hotel rooms, guns, clothing, and various forms of entertainment, officials said.
“The defendant is accused of using the largest sum of funds to purchase a property and the adjoining vacant lot on Glenwood Avenue and Maplewood Avenue in Toledo, Ohio,” said the DOJ. “This property was to be used as a personal residence for the defendant, the indictment states.
The defendant allegedly attempted to conceal the purchase of the property by titling it to ‘Hi Frequency Ohio’ and requesting that the seller’s realtor enter into a nondisclosure agreement,” which “prevented the seller from disclosing that the defendant was the true buyer and that he used BLMGA funds to make the purchase.”
Page is scheduled for arraignment this week, the Toledo Blade reported.