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Tulsa police make first GoFundMe fraud arrest

by: Lynn Casey Updated:

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TULSA, Okla. - Quick Facts:

  • Tulsa woman arrested for fraud.
  • Tonya Gordon is accused of taking money from a GoFundMe account she setup for someone else.
  • Officials said it's Tulsa first case of GoFundMe fraud.

Tulsa police made their first arrest for GoFundMe fraud this week.

Officials said Tonya Gordon, 28, was charged with taking the money from a fundraiser she set up for someone else.

GoFundMe is a popular online service for individuals and groups to setup up personal fundraising campaigns.

Green Country horse trainer Ron David suffered a heart attack in December and had quadruple bypass surgery. Police told FOX23 that Gordon organized a GoFundMe campaign to help the family pay for medical expenses.


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Gordon reportedly withdrew all of the money from the account before David was even out of a coma. By the time police investigated, the money was gone and GoFundMe verified the funds were released to the campaign organizer.

According to GoFundMe, when someone is charged with a crime related to a campaign, it is officially considered “misuse” and they will reimburse the beneficiary up to $25,000.

However, the claim must be filed within 60 days of the campaign’s creation. That date passed in March.

The company release the following statement to FOX23:

“Our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means we guarantee the money goes to the right place. 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 this case, we’ll ensure Mr. David receives the money raised on his behalf.” - Spokesman Bobby Whithorne

David and his wife are now warning the public to beware of those who wish to scam others out of money.


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