The Great Negro
Inside BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors' questionable tax filings
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors used charity funds to pay her brother and child’s father eye-watering sums of cash for various services, according to tax documents filed with the IRS.
The co-founder’s brother, Paul Cullors, saw a cool sum of $840,000 hit his bank account for allegedly providing security services to the nonprofit organization, tax documents seen by The Post show.
Meanwhile, the organization paid a company owned by Damon Turner, with whom Cullors shares a child, almost $970,000 to help “produce live events” as well as other “creative services.”
On top of the controversy, BLM wrapped up its fiscal year — which runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021 — with a stunning $42 million in net assets.
The foundation had an operating budget of about $4 million, according to a board member.
More than $37 million was spent by the foundation on grants, real estate, and charter on private flights, according to the tax filings.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors used charity funds to pay her brother and child’s father sums of cash for various services.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Patrisse Cullors last year resigned as executive director of the organization amid criticism over her lavish lifestyle.
James Clark via Getty Images
What’s more, $32 million was invested in stocks, making up nearly a third of the $90 million the organization received in donations.
The investment is expected to become an endowment in a bid to ensure the foundation’s work continues in the future, organizers say.
The 63-page Form 990 document, an annual filing required for nonprofit organizations to maintain their tax-exempt status, shows Cullors reimbursed the organization $73,523 for a charter flight.
BLM insists she took the flight in 2021 out of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic and the health risks that come with it.
Cullors already found herself in hot water after receiving a cool $120,000 payment for undisclosed “consulting fees” by BLM.
After back-to-back controversies, Cullors last year resigned as executive director of the organization amid criticism over her lavish lifestyle.
The tax filing’s release closely follows the controversy over the purchase of a $6 million property in Los Angeles.
BLM faced a torrent of backlash last month when it publicly emerged that the organization purchased a swanky Southern California home using donated cash.
Cullors at the time said she was weeks removed from being in “survival mode” after The Post’s exclusive reporting revealed her purchase of four high-end US homes for $3.2 million.
“We are decolonizing philanthropy.”
Cicley Gay, BLM board chair
During that time, she said she hosted a Joe Biden inauguration party for about 15 people, including BLM chapter members and other key allies of the organization.
Cullors initially said the property was purchased by BLM to serve as a meeting venue and campus. She also issued a statement denying suggestions she had lived at the property — or taken advantage of it for personal gain.
Cullors said she also threw a private birthday party for her son at the property in March 2021 — and intended to pay a rental fee to BLM.
The recent tax filing shows she paid the foundation an additional $390 over her uses of the 6,500-square-foot Studio City property for two private events.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors with brother Paul Cullors
Patrisse Cullors’ brother, Paul Cullors, saw a cool sum of $840,000 hit his bank account.
Instagram / Patrisse Cullors
Tax records show after spending more than $37 million on grants, real estate, consultants and other undisclosed expenses, the BLM organization is still worth tens of millions of dollars.
A red flag that seemingly emerged from the tax records shows that Cullors was the foundation board’s sole voting director and held no board meetings.
“This 990 reveals that (the BLM foundation) is the largest black abolitionist nonprofit organization that has ever existed in the nation’s history. What we’re doing has never been done before,” said Shalomyah Bowers, who serves as the foundation’s board secretary.
“We needed to get dollars out to grassroots organizations doing the work of abolition, doing the work that would shift the moral tide of this world towards one that does not have or believe in police, prisons, jails or violence,” he added.
Brothers of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors.
Monte (left) and Paul Cullors
Monte and Paul Cullors are the brothers of Patrisse Cullors.
Instagram / Patrisse Cullors
Tax records show BLM paid Bowers over $2 million for providing the organization with operational support, such as staffing and fundraising.
The foundation vowed to launch a “transparency and accountability center” on its website to make its financial documents available for public inspection.
Bowers — who was named as one of three members of BLM’s board of directors in May — serves alongside board chair Cicley Gay, a communications professional, and ‘DZhane Parker, a member of BLM’s Los Angeles chapter.
“Transparency and accountability is so important to us, but so is trust.”
Cicley Gay, BLM board chair
“We are decolonizing philanthropy,” Gay said. “We, as a board, are charged with disrupting traditional standards of what grant-making in philanthropy looks like. It means investing in black communities, trusting them with their dollars.”
The filing also reveals that almost $26 million was written off as grants to organizations and families in the last fiscal year.
“Transparency and accountability is so important to us, but so is trust,” Gay continued. “Presenting (donor) names after the fact, at this point, would likely be a betrayal of that trust.”
The BLM movement first emerged in 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.
In 2014, the death of Michael Brown at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, saw the slogan “Black lives matter” become a staple rallying outcry worldwide.