Black Lives Matter Bought $6M Mansion, Sought to Obscure Ownership: Report

Black Lives Matter Bought $6M Mansion, Sought to Obscure Ownership: Report Black Lives Matter Bought $6M Mansion, Sought to Obscure Ownership: Report

(Nailotl Mendez/Dreamstime)

By Eric Mack | Monday, 04 April 2022 08:58 PM

Black Lives Matter leaders reportedly bought a $6 million Southern California mansion in secret, and internal communications show an effort to "deflate ownership of the property."

BLM has been under fire for its leaders buying expensive houses, burning through millions of dollars amid widespread criticism of mismanaging the funds raised after the deaths of George Floyd and others, New York magazine's Intelligencer reported Monday.

"That's a very legitimate critique," Jacob Harold, former CEO of GuideStar and the co-founder of Candid, an information service reporting on nonprofits, told the Intelligencer. "It's not a critique that says what you're doing is illegal or even unethical; it might just be unstrategic.

"Why aren't you spending it on policy or, you know, other strategies that an organization might take to address the core issues around Black Lives Matter?"

The previously unreported "campus" bought in October 2020 for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, or BLMGNF, is more than 6,500 square feet with more than half a dozen bedrooms and bathrooms, several fireplaces, a soundstage, a pool, bungalow and parking for more than 20 cars, Intelligencer reported, citing real estate listings.

The report included obtained internal memos among BLMGNF leaders that sought to respond to the existence of the "campus," with the following bullet points:

  • "Can we kill the story?"
  • "Our angle — needs to be to deflate ownership of the property."
  • "Campus is part of cultural arm of the org."
  • It is an "influencer house."
  • It is a "safe house" for leaders who have been threatened.

The memo also reportedly added a section saying the leaders "need to first make sure it's legally okay to use as we plan to use it."

Foundation board member Shalomyah Bowers emailed a statement to the Intelligencer on Friday, saying the campus was bought "with the intention for it to serve as housing and studio space for recipients of the Black Joy Creators Fellowship."

The following morning, the Black Joy Creators Fellowship was announced to provide "recording resources and dedicated space for Black creatives to launch content online and in real life focused on abolition, healing justice, urban agriculture and food justice, pop culture, activism, and politics," according to the report.

This mansion was bought by a man named Dyane Pascall in October 2020, just two weeks after the foundation received $66.5 million from its fiscal intermediary used to process donations, Intelligencer reported.

Pascall is the financial manager for Janaya and Patrisse Consulting, a company run by Patrisse Cullors and her spouse, Janaya Khan. Cullors was the Black Lives Matter leader who was forced to resign from the organization last May.

The house was then transferred a week after purchase to a Delaware-based LLC that was established by the Perkins Coie law firm, the report added.

The Intelligencer reporting included inside details of people using the house, including those employed to work there, including ones with personal and family ties to Cullors, who had announced she resigned from the organization.

The house's management warrants scrutiny, according to Notre Dame Law School professor Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, who told Intelligencer that "money may not be going where it's supposed to be going" and might threaten BLMGNF's tax-exempt status.

BLMGNF received tax-exempt status from the IRS in December 2020, two months after the home's purchase, according to the report.

BLMGNF has retained high-profile Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, who was once with Perkins Coie and has started a law firm to take on Republicans working toward election reform laws.

Original Article