Police: Farmington woman stole GoFundMe money for new motor scooter
Farmington, N.Y. (WHAM) - A woman from Farmington was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing money from an online fundraiser.
Police in Canandaigua said 24-year-old Jordan Fogg lied about raising money for a Jimmy Filippello to receive a new motorized scooter.
"The person that raised money for me she was nice, I don't know what happened," he said.
Filippello depends on his scooter to get around. "It gets me around. It gets me to Walmart and back and I go around to pay my bills," he said.
He said his friend bought him his scooter a few years ago. However, with time the wheels have worn down and sometimes it doesn't start when it's too cold out.
"I try to save money to buy a new one for myself but, these days it's hard to save money," he added.
In August 2017, Fogg is accused of opening a GoFundMe account claiming to raise the money. After fees and surcharges, investigators said Fogg raised more than $1,200 but the funds were not turned over to the individual for whom the donations were intended.
"[I'm] very angry, I'm sad but, I am disappointed, I'm very disappointed," he said.
Filippello said Fogg was his home aid last summer. He never asked her to start the page. He said out of the $1,200 police said she raised, he only saw a small portion of that money.
"I appreciate it but, I don't want nothing, I know people work hard for their money," he said.
Fogg was arraigned on a grand larceny 4th charge and was released on an appearance ticket.
Canandaigua Police said this investigation took months. They say more than 40 people donated money to the account.
"Putting yourself in their position you donate money for a cause for an individual to buy a scooter and you find out somebody took advantage of that situation," said Officer Peter Mastracy.
Police are asking anyone who may have donated to the GoFundMe page titled “Jimmy’s scooter” from August - September 2017 to contact Officer P.J. Mastracy at (585) 396-5035 or email here.
"Anything you do over the internet, it's like buyer beware, even if you aren't buying anything but, donating always be careful," said Officer Mastracy.
GoFundMe reached out to 13WHAM and in a statement said:
"This user has been banned and we are working to ensure James Filippello receives the funds that were intended for him. It's important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back. We are working with law enforcement on their investigation.
"Additionally, it's important to remember that misuse is extremely rare on our platform. Campaigns with misuse make up less than one tenth of one percent of all campaigns. With that said, there are unfortunate and rare instances where people create campaigns with the intention to take advantage of others' generosity. In the small handful of cases where misuse occurs, GoFundMe takes action to resolve the issue. For additional information about the GoFundMe guarantee, see here: gofundme.com/guarantee."