An Oregon man whose Army sergeant son died in Iraq saw his heartache compounded when the fallen soldier's photo was used for a sham fundraising campaign on a Florida-based website.
The campaign was originally an ad in May on Craigslist Pensacola, then on fundraising site www.indiegogo.com, soliciting money to help a wounded combat veteran identified as Chris Fennery, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
However, photos posted on the page were actually of Sean Patrick Fennerty, who died in a roadside bomb explosion in 2007. What's worse, an investigation by the News-Journal found that Chris Fennery was known to neither the Pentagon nor the hospital where the fraudulent ad said he was recovering.
The real soldier's father, Brian Fennerty, is not only hurt, he's outraged by the use of his son's picture.
“Think of all the things someone could scam, and this is pretty low,” Fennerty, professor of gastroenterology at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, told the newspaper after learning of the fraud. “I want this exposed. I just wish there was a way to keep this sort of thing from happening again.”
The solicitation for money claims to be from Tiffany Fennery, the twin sister of Chris, who she claims lost both legs and his left arm after stepping on an improvised explosive device on Mother’s Day. The plea does not say where the explosion supposedly occurred.
A vet who served with Sean Patrick Fennerty contacted the New Journal and explained the true identity of the soldier in the photo.