Black Lives Matter (BLM) has come under scrutiny for its spending. After New York Magazine revealed a lavish mansion purchase using donor funds, the group came under fire.
According to the magazine, “the California property was purchased for nearly $6 million in cash in October 2020 with money donated to BLMGNF (Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation).”
After the report was made public, BLM defended its multimillion-dollar mansion acquisition using donor funds in a lengthy Twitter thread posted on its official Twitter account.
“There have been a lot of questions surrounding recent reports about the purchase of Creator’s House in California,” read one tweet in the thread. “Despite past efforts, BLMGNF recognizes that there is more work to do to increase transparency and ensure transitions in leadership are clear.”
In following tweets, BLM said the reports investigating the group’s finances were “inflammatory and speculative” and accused investigators of “causing harm.”
The organization also said the reports “do not reflect the totality of the movement.”
The tweets continued, “We are redoubling our efforts to provide clarity about BLMGNF’s work,” before saying an “internal audit, tightening compliance operations and creating a new board to help steer to the organization to its next evolution.”
BLM continued defending the spending, saying some of its funds were used for mission-specific purposes, including $25 million to black-led organizations, $3 million in Covid relief, and working to pass federal legislation aimed at opposing qualified immunity for police officers.
The thread continued with the organization declaring they were “working intentionally to rebuild trust” and “embracing this moment as an opportunity for accountability, healing, truth-telling, and transparency.”
Replies to its tweets were turned off.
Real estate agent says purchase ‘above board’
The purchase of the $6 million mansion by BLM was described as “above board” by the real estate agent who handled the Los Angeles purchase but did not provide further details.
A real estate developer linked to BLM purchased the 6,500-square-foot mansion for $3.1 million in October 2020.
“I never touched any money. The money went straight to escrow,” real estate agent Dyane Paschall told The Washington Post when questioned about the sale.
When asked by the Post where the money to purchase the mansion came from, Paschall said, “I don’t owe you an explanation.”
However, days later, the mansion was transferred to a company controlled by the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation for $5.8 million, according to sales records. The foundation is a charity behind the BLM movement.
According to New York Magazine, the mansion was purchased with donated BLM funds. The mansion purchase happened two weeks after California’s attorney general approved the $65 million transfer from a charity that collected donated funds for Black Lives Matter, Thousand Currents.
New York Magazine said it learned of the story through a source with access to BLM leaders’ internal emails.
After the story was published, Republican California Representative Darrell Issa called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the organization’s mansion purchase and finances.
According to Issa, little is known how the $90 million in donations raised since 2020. In the past year BLM the foundation said its expenses were $8.4 million and $21.7 million to unofficial and official BLM chapters, which leaves around $60 million unaccounted for.
“The disturbing information that we are learning is more than enough to warrant an investigation from the DOJ — and doubtless not the end of all there is to know,” said Issa. “This definitely has the suggestion of misappropriation of charitable funds and an abuse of our nonprofit laws.”