BLM Fraudster Shocking Restitution Amount Owed Back

( – In 1895, a bronze statue was erected in Bristol as a memorial to the philanthropic works of slave trader Edward Colston. Feelings about the statue were reportedly mixed, with many feeling his slave-trading ways clouded his philanthropy. In June 2020, the statue was toppled during a Black Lives Matter protest, and the woman who organized the event, Xahra Saleem, was subsequently arrested for fraud.

Saleem set up a fundraiser to collect money for Changing Your Mindset, a Bristol St. Pauls-based youth group, but the organization didn’t receive all the money. Instead, the fraudster used about £70,000 (currently about $88,800) on herself. On April 5, the Bristol Crown Court ordered Saleem to pay a grand sum of £1, causing some disappointment from the duped charity members.

But the single pound punishment isn’t the end of the story, the judge set that amount as more of a place-marker than anything else. Currently, Saleem is serving two and a half years in prison and doesn’t have any money to pay back what she stole. However, when she gets out and if she “obtain[s] assets in the future,” prosecutors will be able to get a “re-confiscation order” to seize.

Judge Michael Longman said the defendant “abused her position” by using the money she collected to live a lifestyle she couldn’t otherwise afford. While the judge acknowledged that Saleem broke the public’s trust, he doesn’t believe that was her intention going in. Prosecutor Alistair Haggerty stated she “succumbed to temptation” when handling the funds to buy herself a life of luxury.

Jay Daley and Deneisha Royal, from the now-defunct Changing Your Mindset charity, were disappointed about the court’s decision. They said the organization will likely never see the money Saleem stole and they don’t feel any sense of justice. They relayed their sadness that someone from their own community could do something so egregious.

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