The vice president of the National Union of Workers Western Australian branch — Ian Mackay, has been exposed by American media organisation CNN, as the operator of a fraudulent Facebook page, which was used in order to fool Black Lives Matter supporters into donating more than $US100,000 ($AUD130,000). The CNN investigation exposed the Australian unionist’s involvement in the scam, after payments associated with the page were traced back to Mackay. The Facebook page was deactivated shortly after CNN broke the story.
Black Lives Matter — a US based civil rights organisation which campaigns against alleged racial discrimination from American law enforcement, rose to international notoriety throughout 2013 and 2014. The organisation’s official Facebook page, which has 322,000 followers as of April 2018, was dwarfed by Mackay’s page, which boasted more than 700,000 followers at its peak. Mackay solicited online donations through the sale of merchandise, as well as receiving donations via payment intermediary sites such as PayPal and Patreon. The donations, which Mackay’s page claimed would be used in order to fund Black Lives Matter campaigns throughout America, were then deposited into his Australian bank account. He has now been suspended by the NUW pending further investigation.