BLM fraudster stole £70k from charity

BLM fraudster stole £70k from charity

Apr 22, 2024

A charity fundraiser for Black Lives Matter has been ordered to pay back just £1 due to being ‘penniless’ after spending almost £45,000 to fund her lifestyle

Xahra Saleem, 23, originally from Essex had been jailed last year after stealing £70,000 of donations that were raised for Changing Your Mindset, a youth group based in St Pauls in Bristol. However, Saleem spent the money on herself, with the charity never receiving a penny.

Originally Saleem received 588 donations amounting to £32,344, which rose to £70,000 through the fundraising website, JustGiving.

A second charity, Bristol Protesters Legal Fees, was formed after the protest in Bristol in 2020 which saw the statue of Edward Coulston being torn down called, although the investigation into this charity was closed by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The charity donations were used by Saleem to fund her lifestyle, including Uber bills amounting to £5,800, takeaways, beauty expenses and clothes.

At a proceeds of crime hearing at court, Saleem claimed she was ‘penniless’, so she was only  ordered to pay back £1.

A further confiscation order under section 22 of the Proceeds of Crime Act would be issued if she were to come into any money in the future.

DC Anthony Davis and the investigating officer on the case at Avon and Somerset Police said: ‘Xahra Saleem admitted to defrauding a charity of a significant sum of money and received a custodial sentence for it last year.

‘She made the conscious decision to take the money for herself when it should have gone to young people in east Bristol.

‘Blameless individuals who supported the charity were left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of this serious fraud.’

Saleem originally pleaded not guilty to two charges of fraud but eventually admitted her spending, receiving a two-and-a-half-year sentence.