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Stolen Bikes Nola needs help!

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Brian Opert, our former Vice President and one time friend, has illegally taken all of us off the Board of Directors and refuses to give us the funds raised at the June fundraiser. It saddens me to tell you all this but now we are no longer a non profit. We have website dues coming up and will hopefully be able to pay them. We are currently scrambling to start a new non profit as soon as possible. We are in talks with a lawyer as we speak. I know in this time of tragedy for Louisiana it may seem wrong to ask for donations, but we are now in dire straits. With your help we can file to become a new nonprofit and hopefully pay dues and lawyer fees.
Thank you all for your support. Our press release :
Stolen Bikes Nola regrets to inform the cycling community we have been forced out of our existing 501(c)(3). Brian Opert, our former vice president, illegally removed our board of directors from the nonprofit's filing with the Secretary of State.  He has also removed the Stolen Bikes NOLA name from the corporation, all without board approval.  Additionally, he has refused to give us access to our bank account, which contains the proceeds from our June fundraiser.  We are attempting to raise funds for another filing while we pursue what rightfully belongs to you, the cycling community of New Orleans.

The facts are as follows:

On September 30th, 2015, Opert gave us the nonprofit Legacy Corporation that he said "was on the shelf collecting dust". Very excitedly he claimed, "This is yours now!" Board meeting was held, officers elected, and Stolen Bikes Nola Legacy Corp was founded.

In June 2016, while planning an upcoming fundraiser, a dispute came up over members bidding on bikes in the upcoming auction. The president was against this and threatened resignation. Opert was confrontational with members thereafter. He sent a personal tirade on our private Facebook group "SBNOLA Board of Directors” to various board members.

The day before the auction, Opert went to our warehouse to load bicycles for auction. When the president arrived, two bikes for which owners had just been identified were loaded on the truck to be moved. When confronted about this, Opert was not happy. The president was informed by tech/inventory keepers they were not invited to assist in moving of the bikes, yet inventory's job was to make sure all due diligence was done on the bikes.

Long time admins on the Closed Facebook group Stolen Bikes Nola were removed. When asked who did this, no one came forward. We quickly restored them and removed new admins.

On the morning of June 20, 2016, Stolen Bikes Nola, Inc. experienced a security breach and attack against our online resources.  This included the disappearance of our shared Dropbox folder containing all our corporate documents, records, bike records, etc. This Dropbox folder was hosted and shared from the account of Brian Opert. Our Stolen Bikes Nola email account ([email redacted]) had also been attacked as the password had been changed. The Stolen Bikes Nola board of directors Facebook group was also missing.  Our tech person was informed that the cyber attack had been instigated by Brian Opert, who he then contacted and requested access to the shared Dropbox folder as we needed to review files at the event.  That request was denied. At that time our tech person had his staff restore our Dropbox contents from the most recent backup (approx. 1 hour before the attack) to his business Dropbox account.

On June 21, a mass email was sent to all board members about the security breach, to which Opert responded: "Glad it is all over. Forever! I look forward to never seeing a lot of you ever again - you know precisely who are included in this comment. While many of you continually wish me the worst, I only wish you the very best. Goodbye," Within hours, he submitted a filing removing everyone from the board of directors with a false claim of board approval, and with one change SBNOLA was no more. The President called our bank only to find out he was never added to the bank account--only Opert and our Treasurer.

Acting quickly, we formed a new Board, kept old members, and voted Opert off the board unanimously. Our treasurer tried being unbiased and fair. In July, our event organizer was reimbursed and our Tech support, who has sunk the most money into our mission, was partially paid. Our tech support has still not been paid in full. With this, things looked hopeful and we were thinking Opert would calm down and talk to us.

On August 16th, we tried to reach out to Opert to invite him to our board meeting. He replied with "F**k you and all you ride with." He told one of our most active members, Dean Gray, that he would never see that money again. On this day, our treasurer and fundraiser resigned. We now have no access to the funds. We are now trying to get funds for a lawyer.

We are now trying desperately to start over from scratch. We may lose our website, our warehouse space, and may never get the funds to go nonprofit again. We are working on fundraisers and Gofundme as we speak. Thanks to everyone who has shown support to this group. We need you all now more than ever.


Alexander Fleming
New Orleans, LA

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