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A progressive nonprofit that has been shelling out cash to anti-Israel protest groups is being sued by Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation for fraud and withholding more than $33 million in donations, a bombshell lawsuit claims.

Tides Foundation, which has managed hundreds of millions in donations for progressive groups since it was founded in 1976, has “refused to honor its promises and continues to commandeer BLMGNF’s donations,” according to the 285-page lawsuit filed in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, on Monday.

Instead, Tides doled out an undisclosed amount of donations to a radical BLM breakaway group run by anti-police activist Melina Abdullah — who lost a “frivolous” lawsuit against BLMGNF — according to court papers and an attorney for BLMGNF.

Group of people marching and holding "Black Lives Matter" signs
Tides Foundation, a progressive nonprofit that has given cash to anti-Israel groups organizing campus protests, is being sued for fraud by Black Lives MatterPacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tides, a Los Angeles- and San Francisco-based nonprofit, acts as a fiscal sponsor — essentially, a clearinghouse that collects donations for groups that may not have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

In addition to BLMGNF and other BLM groups, it manages donations for pro-Palestinian groups that have supported anti-Israel protests across the country.

Billionaire George Soros and his son Alex Soros have funneled nearly $14 million from their Open Society Foundations to Tides, which sponsors activist groups including the pro-Palestinian Adalah Justice Project and others fueling campus protests.

“Tides has engaged in deceptive business practices and has operated in a quasi-banking capacity without appropriate regulatory oversight of licenses,” the BLMGNF lawsuit says. “Tides operates with a level of autonomy and minimal regulatory scrutiny that is starkly at odds with the regulatory framework imposed on traditional financial institutions.”

Shalomyah Bowers, head of Black Lives Matter.
Shalomyah Bowers is the head of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.AP

According to the lawsuit, Tides has more than $1.4 billion in assets and allegedly acts as a bank — only without banking regulations.

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BLMGNF, the national organization of the civil rights movement founded in 2017, took in tens of millions in donations after the death of George Floyd in 2020.

At the time, the group did not have tax-exempt status from the IRS, and approached the Tides Foundation to help it manage the flood of cash.

Protesters carrying a "Black Lives Matter" banner across a street
“BLMGNF’s lawsuit seeks to circumvent the intent of the Fund’s donors and deprive grassroots Black Lives Matter chapters critical resources, for its own benefit,” the lawsuit against Tides claims.AFP via Getty Images

Tides, which takes a percentage of donations to manage a group’s funds, gave verbal assurances that it would return the collected money once BLMGNF received tax-exempt status, the lawsuit claims.

In the meantime, it managed donations in a “collective action fund” that would be accessible to BLMGNF, according to the lawsuit.

BLMGNF ended its relationship with Tides in 2022, and Tides has refused to hand over the cash, totaling some $33 million, the complaint says.

Instead, Tides, which takes between 3% and 9% of the donations it processes, has sent part of the funds to other BLM groups without the permission of BLMGNF, the lawsuit says.

George Soros and Alex Soros
George Soros (left) and his son Alex Soros have contributed nearly $14 million to Tides to support progressive causes.@alexsoros/Instagram

On June 9, 2022, a Tides official said Tides had transferred $7.4 million from the collective fund back to BLMGNF.

Instead, it sent part of the cash — $4.75 million — to an unaffiliated BLM chapter in Oklahoma City, the lawsuit says.

“It is unclear why such a large amount would have been granted to a single city’s BLM chapter,” the lawsuit says.

Melina Abdullah, head of Black Lives Matter Grassroots.
Tides Foundation said in a statement that it had given an undisclosed amount of cash to rival Black Lives Grassroots, a breakaway faction that is helmed by Melina Abdullah (above).AP

In a statement to The Post Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Tides Foundation called the allegations in the complaint “completely false.”

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“Resources in the Black Lives Matter [collective action fund] were never intended to be granted to large, well-funded national organizations like Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, and were always intended to be granted to local Black Lives Matter chapters,” the Tides statement says. “BLMGNF’s lawsuit seeks to circumvent the intent of the Fund’s donors and deprive grassroots Black Lives Matter chapters critical resources, for its own benefit.”

While Tides’ website mentions that it offers “grant management,” an attorney for BLMGNF said in a statement to The Post that Tides was not authorized to dole out donations earmarked for BLMGNF to offshoot groups or local chapters.

Tides said it had granted $12.6 million from the Support Fund to groups, including BLM Grassroots, a breakaway group helmed by activist Melina Abdullah.

She tried to collect $10 million from BLMGNF in a “frivolous lawsuit” for her breakaway BLM Grassroots. Abdullah — who is running as independent candidate Cornel West’s running mate in the US presidential election — lost the lawsuit last year and was ordered to pay more than $700,000 in BLMGNF legal fees and costs.

An attorney for BLMGNF cited a June ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge who dismissed BLM Grassroots’ claims to any of BLMGNF’s donations.

“This lawsuit against the Tides Foundation is not just about financial discrepancies but the principle of rightful ownership and transparency that should govern partnerships in social justice funding,” attorney Byron McLain said Wednesday.

In a statement to The Post, BLMGNF said it “never expected to become victims of … unscrupulous business practices” in social justice philanthropy.

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“There is an expectation for Black Lives Matter to challenge systems, break barriers and uphold the truth, no matter how uncomfortable,” the statement said. “Today, that extends into non-profit operations as we call out Tides Foundation and other so-called ‘fiscal sponsors’ who exploit their role.”

Protestors point at an NYPD officer during anti-police demonstrations in New York City after the death of George Floyd in 2020.
After police in Minneapolis killed George Floyd in May 2020, anti-cop activists protested across the country. Black Lives Matter took in more than $90 million in donations that year.AFP via Getty Images

BLMGNF has had its own issues with finances, after raking in $90 million in donations for 2020 alone.

Patrisse Cullors, the group’s co-founder, then went on a multimillion-dollar home-buying spree, purchasing two homes in Los Angeles and a property in the Atlanta suburbs with an airplane hangar and runway, as first revealed by The Post.

Cullors denied that she used donations to buy the properties.


Cullors also signed off on a $6 million Los Angeles mansion, to be used as an office for BLMGNF, and an $8 million property in Toronto for the group’s Canadian chapter.

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