Prosecutors in New Jersey have accused a woman of setting up a fraudulent GoFundMe page to raise money for her son’s funeral, claiming he had died of cancer.
In reality, the boy is alive and the woman had given him up for adoption, prosecutors said. The boy’s adopted parents alerted law-enforcement authorities of the fundraiser’s page in June, officials said.
Holly Garcia, 33, was taken into custody on September 24, and charged with second-degree computer criminal activity and third-degree attempted theft by deception.
GoFundMe later shut down multiple fictitious campaigns set up by Garcia after being alerted by law enforcement, prosecutors said. She was never able to collect any of $11,000 she requested, they added.
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A 33-year-old woman has been accused of setting up a fraudulent GoFundMe campaign, claiming it was to raise money for her son’s funeral. In reality, she had given the four-year-old boy up for adoption, according to New Jersey prosecutors.
In a Facebook post about the case on Thursday, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office said that the boy’s adopted parents alerted law-enforcement authorities back in June to a GoFundMe campaign that was using a picture of their son. That fund was asking for money to help pay for the funeral of a boy who had died of cancer.
An investigation had showed that the campaign had been started by Holly Garcia, the boy’s biological mother, who had signed away her parental rights, the prosecutor’s office said.
“Further investigation determined that Garcia had created multiple fictitious GoFundMe campaigns seeking money for the following: an urn for her dead son’s ashes; assistance for her 4-year-old son who is going blind in one eye (and whose father had died); assistance for her unborn child; a stroller for her two-month old son, who was born premature; and assistance raising rent money for an apartment, because she claimed she was four months pregnant and homeless,” the Facebook post said.
Garcia was taken into custody on September 24 and was released last week, the prosecutor’s office said Thursday, adding that she has been charged with second-degree computer criminal activity and third-degree attempted theft by deception.
Her case will now go to a grand jury for a possible indictment, the office said.
The prosecutors said GoFundMe took down Garcia’s campaigns after being informed by law enforcement, and she was never able to collect any of the $11,350 she requested. Insider has contacted GoFundMe for further comment.
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