TOLEDO, Ohio — A Toledo activist pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering and wire fraud on Wednesday.
Sir Maejor Page, 32, was handed the four-count indictment in federal court last Thursday, March 11.
Back in Sept. of 2020, the FBI and the Toledo Police Department raided a home on the 2000 block of Glenwood, arresting Page in the process.
Page is accused of fraudulently utilizing a Black Lives Matter non-profit organization by way of misrepresentations and by posing as a Black Lives Matter leader.
Police said an investigation showed Page had created and operated a social media page with the name Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta (BLMGA) as a non-profit organization capable of accepting monetary donations. BLMGA was also listed as a non-profit organization with GoFundMe.
Officers said a bank account named "Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, Inc." was opened in 2018 with Page being the only signatory on the account. The FBI said from April 2018 to May 2020, the account balance ebbed and flowed, but never had a balance that exceeded $5,000; at one time, the account had a balance of -$12.42.
Between June 2020 and August 2020, the BLMGA social media page received about $467,342.18 in donations. The FBI says all of that money was transferred to the "Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, Inc." account owned and operated by Page.
According to the FBI, in June of 2020, Page responded to private social media inquiry messages that funds had been donated to be used to fight for George Floyd, and that "none of the funds have been used for personal items. All movement-related."
However, the FBI said that in June, July and August, Page repeatedly used a debit card linked to the same account to make purchases related to food, dining, entertainment, clothing, furniture, home security systems, tailored suits and accessories.
The largest purchase was made from the BLMGA bank account to a title company on Aug. 21, 2020 for the purchase of a residence and an adjacent vacant lot in Toledo, in the 2000 block of Glenwood, for $112,000.
Open records show the house belongs to an organization called Hi Frequency. Page is one of the leaders of the organization.
Another member of Hi Frequency, Ron Goolsby, said the organization bought the house to shelter battered women and other victims of domestic violence.
The FBI said Page tried to hide his ownership in this real estate transaction, stating in the non-disclosure agreement that it was to be entered "by and between Hi Frequency Ohio via Sir Maejor Page" and the seller's agent.
Goolsby, a close friend of Page, said Page sometimes stayed at the home but does not live there. Goolsby also said Page was at the house when the FBI showed up, but believes whatever the FBI has "won't stick."
In Sept. 2020, the FBI said Page used a personal bank account in his name to accept a transfer of funds from the BLMGA account to purchase a pistol and two rifles. Numerous videos and livestream videos were posted to Page's personal social media pages showing himself in what appeared to be newly-purchased clothing, hotel rooms and office space in Atlanta.
Reports say Page made several statements in the videos boasting about the money he has, his tailored suits, his nice cufflinks and "$150 ties," and saying "my room way up at the top...at the top top...they put the bottom feeders on these floors..."
According to the FBI, Page has spent over $200,000 on personal items generated from donations received from BLMGA social media page with no identifiable purchase or expenditure for social or racial injustice.
He was released after posting $10,000 bond.
As part of his bond release agreement, Page is not allowed to have any Facebook activity whatsoever. Additionally, he may not conduct any fundraising activity virtually or in-person nor obtain any new bank accounts or lines of credit without prior approval of Pretrial Services.
In a statement posted to his official Facebook page following Page's arrest, local activist Julian Mack commented on the charges.
Mack is part of the Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo, another organization working to raise awareness of social injustice and inequality in our area.
In part, the statement read:
"I am disappointed to hear the news of Sir Maejor's indictment. It's important to maintain trust & accountability as servents to our community & not mimic the behavior of our oppressors as we seek to transform our society where the ideals of freedom, justice and liberty are applied to all."
In the statement, Mack also commented on the leadership structure of the Black Lives Matter movement:
"It also must be underlined that our current movement does not have top down leadership, we use a linear leadership model to avoid the very issues Sir Maejor is facing today & many obstacles that Civil Rights movements of the past have faced. There Is NO President of Black Lives Matter. We are in the midst of the largest Civil Rights movement in American history and more than anything I lean on my faith hope & love in these difficult times. I have faith that we will create a better tomorrow than we have today. I hope that today's unfortunate event doesn't take the attention away from the fact that for the first time in American history we are in the midst of a 50 state uprising demanding a systemic & cultural change that values black lives. I hope for the safety & mental wellbeing of Sir Maejor & his family during this difficult time as well as fair court proceedings. Lastly I hope that our community that I deeply love can heal & improve because our current status quo is unacceptable and we deserve better."