A woman who set up a GoFundMe account for her slain co-worker's 11-year-old daughter ended up pocketing more than $35,000, officials said.
Police said a GoFundMe campaign raised about $38,000 for the daughter of Stephanie Goodloe, a church youth ministry director in Washington, D.C. who was killed in her home near Capitol Hill in June 2016. Her ex-boyfriend, Donald Hairston, 49, has been charged with first-degree murder in her death.
But the money raised never reached Goodloe’s daughter, The Washington Post reported.
Instead, Arlene Petty, 30, from Capitol Heights, Md., “kept the majority of the funds raised for herself.”
Petty has been charged with one count of first-degree fraud over the fund.
“We plan on following this case really closely,” Goodloe’s cousin, Kim Smith, told the Post in reference to the fraud charge against Petty. “Along with the murder trial, this is yet another case that the family has to follow so we know that justice has been served.”
The GoFundMe campaign was created on June 20, 2016, two days after Goodloe was killed. Police said it was set up as a joint account involving Petty and the child’s grandmother.
In March 2017, however, a relative filed a complaint after the grandmother said she'd been “locked out” of the account.
In court documents, Police said Petty had transferred $35,054 to a personal bank account.
Bobby Whithorne, a spokesman for GoFundMe, told the Post that misuse of the platform makes up “less than one-tenth of one percent” of all campaigns. He said the company will work with police and the court system to “ensure all of the money raised goes to the family.”
He added if the courts were unable to recoup the money, “GoFundMe will make a donation to the family.”