Toledo, OH – The founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta (BLMGA) is facing federal charges after allegedly using over $200,000 in donations made to the nonprofit organization to cover his own personal expenses.
Tyree “Sir Maejor” Page, 32, has been arrested for impersonating a police officer on multiple occasions in the past, and is currently on probation for carrying a weapon in an unauthorized location and obstruction of a police officer, WAGA reported.
According to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Sept. 25, Page set up the BLMGA non-profit organization in March of 2016, and established himself as the CEO and president, WTVG reported.
Investigators said he later created a Facebook page for the nonprofit, and collected donations through the social media platform and through GoFundMe.
But Page failed to file mandatory paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), resulting in the agency revoking the organization’s tax-exempt status, WTVG reported.
The Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division formally dissolved the organization in August of 2019, WTVG reported.
Despite no longer having a nonprofit organization, Page allegedly continued to collect donations through the BLMGA Facebook page.
He took in over $467,000 in contributions between June and the end of August, according to court documents.
Those funds were deposited into a linked BLMGA bank account belonging to Page, WTVG reported.
During the same timeframe, Page made several posts on the BLMGA Facebook page advising followers that any donations would be used to help in the fight for George Floyd, who died while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25, according to investigators.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) traced the donated funds and soon discovered that Page had allegedly used them for his own personal gain, WTVG reported.
He purchased a home and an adjacent lot in Toledo for $112,000, spent another $12,000 on furnishings, installed a $1,310 security system, and dropped another $2,065 on tailored suits and accessories, according to investigators.
Page spent over $4,000 at Walmart and another $2,125.267 in Home Depot purchases, the court documents read.
He also bought two rifles and a pistol, according to investigators.
The FBI further alleged that Page purchased the home under the name of Hi Frequency Ohio in a failed attempt to cover his tracks, WTVG reported.
Page used to serve as general counsel and treasurer for the group, according to investigators.
“In sum, Page has spent over $200,000 on personal items generated from donations received through BLMGA Facebook page with no identifiable purchase or expenditure for social or racial justice,” the criminal complaint read, according to WTVG.
The FBI raided Page’s home on Friday and arrested him on charges of money laundering and wire fraud.
He was released hours later on a $10,000 unsecured bond, WTVG reported.
Page’s first arrest for impersonating a police officer occurred in December of 2014, after officers found him outside a gas station on Joseph P. Lowery Boulevard with a handcuffed woman.
Police said he was toting a Glock handgun and “wearing a replica of the Atlanta police officer uniform” at the time, WAGA reported.
Page told police he was working as a security officer for the business.
Less than a year later, officers dealt with him outside a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) station, where he was decked out in a ballistic vest and carrying a firearm, WAGA reported.
During that encounter, Page even demanded to see identification from a man who ended up being a sergeant with the Atlanta Police Department (APD), according to the news outlet.
In January, Page told security guards at the Sloppy Floyd state office building that he was an FBI agent, according to court documents.
The armed suspect “had more weapons than I ever seen an officer wear,” a witness told investigators.
Page was able to make his way into the Secretary of State’s records office before he was busted, WAGA reported.
He allegedly told investigators that he was armed and dressed in tactical gear because he was a bounty hunter, but the local law enforcement agencies where bounty hunters are required to register said they had no such paperwork for Page.
Page later struck a plea deal on all three of the police impersonation cases and was given just two years of probation in exchange for pleading guilty to carrying a weapon in an unauthorized location and obstruction, according to WAGA.
In July, Page stood alongside APD Chief George Turner and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during a joint press conference to demand changes in police tactics and training.
“We stand on the shoulders of those that have paved the way for us to be able to protest in the streets and to be able to have our voices heard,” he said at the time, according to WAGA.
He has refused to comment on the charges against him, WAGA reported.