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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Canadian fugitive took advantage of nonprofit for his own gain, founder says

A spokesperson for the Eastern School of Beekeeping charged that the government prefers to “sponsor” alleged Canadian beekeepers over local beekeepers.

By John McPhaul

The founder of Karma Bee (Honey) Project, Candice Galek, reacted on Tuesday to the controversy involving one of the members of her nonprofit entity, Conor Vincent D’Monte (AKA Jonathan Williams), who was arrested last week by federal authorities for alleged involvement in a criminal organization in Canada.

“Johnny Williams was not a board member, was never an employee, was never president, and never had a legal affiliation with the organization. He was a person who presented himself as wanting to help and promote the organization, network and potentially get donors,” Galek said according to a post by Sandra Rodríguez Cotto.

“We were not aware and we did not know that he presented himself as the owner. The only thing I can tell you is that in December, 2021 we cut ties with Johnny Williams because he did things that the board of directors never authorized him to do,” she added.

Galek said Williams was using his connection to the nonprofit to make a profit for himself.

“We found that he was misleading people and making connections that did not align with the mission of the organization and we recognized that what he was doing was not beneficial to the organization and we cut relationships,” she said.

Rodríguez Cotto said Galek alleged that the subject lied to beekeepers, did not allow them to export their product and took away their profit margin.

Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea said Monday that the nonprofit organization could lose its nonprofit tax status if any irregularities are found in an audit.

Meanwhile, Cheli Conde of the Eastern School of Beekeeping charged on Tuesday that the government prefers to “sponsor” alleged Canadian beekeepers over local beekeepers.

“The irresponsible secretary of Agriculture certified [such a sponsorship] in a month,” Conde said in an interview with Radio Isla 1320. “We have been trying to access it for months and we have not had it. And this murderer had direct access to the secretary.”

“Everything that was in beekeeping in Puerto Rico was given to Karma Honey Project,” Conde said. “He [the fugitive] managed to get the Eastern School of Beekeeping closed and was lobbying for the approval of bills that harmed us. What are the leaders of the Senate and the House going to say?”

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