A Pennsylvania woman has been arrested after she allegedly created a GoFundMe account to benefit a Florida mother who lost her 1-year-old son, but kept the money instead.
Police said Nicole Leahy, of Lititz, started the campaign in December 2015 and raised $500, but the mother, who said she never authorized anyone to give out family information, said she never received any money.
The mom reportedly knew Leahy through a Facebook group “Mothers of Twin Children” of which they were both members.
The mom discovered that the Facebook account linked to the page was using the name "Nikki Leahy," and contacted police.
Leahy admitted to police that she had created the account to raise funds for the family and claimed that she had purchased gift cards and sent them to the victim, police said.
Leahy was charged after a search warrant executed on GoFundMe in June 2016 concluded that she was the beneficiary of the account. She was charged with theft by deception.
GoFundMe released an statement about the alleged theft.
"It’s important to remember that misuse is extremely rare on our platform. In the small handful of cases where misuse occurs, GoFundMe takes action to resolve the issue. In this case, we worked with law enforcement officials, recovered the funds, and delivered the donations directly to the family in May 2016."
Leahy has been banned from their platform.