Local BLM activist Tyree Page, aka Sir Maejor Page, was arrested yesterday by FBI agents on charges of wire fraud and money laundering. Page, the son of another long time community activist Twila Page, is the head of Hi-Frequency Ohio a group that declares itself " a grassroots movement based organization, dedicated to fighting for the lives of marginalized communities." Page has also been active with local Black Lives Matter groups, appearing at marches and press conferences with leaders of those organizations.
Earlier this year Page and a board member of Hi Frequency, Abelino Ruiz, had a falling out and Mr Ruiz was removed from the organization. It's not clear if Mr Ruiz is the "cooperating witness" mentioned in the FBI criminal complaint.
According to the FBI : An investigation was initiated and determined that PAGE had created and operated a social media page by the name Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta (BLMGA). PAGE set up the BLMGA as a non-profit organization, capable of accepting monetary donations. BLMGA was also listed as a non-profit organization with the fundraising website Go Fund Me.
A bank account named “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, Inc.” was opened in 2018 with PAGE being the only signatory on the account. From April 2018 until May 2020, the account balance for this account ebbed and flowed; however, it never had a balance that exceeded $5,000 and at one time had a balance of -$12.42. In June 2020, BLMGA social media page received approximately $36,493.80 in donations, in July 2020, it received approximately $370,933.69 in donations, and in August 2020, an additional $59,914.69 in donations, all of this money was transferred from the social media donations to the bank account titled and operated in the name of “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, Inc”, owned and operated by PAGE.
In June 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, in June, July and August, PAGE repeatedly used a debit card linked to this same account to make purchases related to food, dining, entertainment, clothing, furniture, a home security system, tailored suits, and accessories. The largest sum purchase was made from the BLMGA bank account to a title company on August 21, 2020 for the purchase of a residence and an adjacent vacant lot in Toledo, Ohio. The total purchase price for both properties was approximately $112,000. PAGE attempted to conceal 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.
In early September 2020, 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. Several audio statements are made by PAGE in the videos boasting about the money he has, his tailored suits, his nice cufflinks and “$150 dollar ties” and boasting about “my room way up at the top….at the top top...they put the bottom feeders on these floors…”.
In summary, 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.
Page appeared before Judge James Knepp on Friday afternoon and was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. He is not allowed to use Facebook, open any lines of credit or bank accounts, and is not allowed to fundraise as part of his release terms.
Page faces a possible 20 years in jail on the wire fraud count, 20 years for laundering count one, and 10 years for money laundering count two if found guilty. Should he plead guilty before trial a sentencing recommendation would be made that could reduce his jail time to 63-78 months at the discretion of the judge.