(John Ransom, Headline USA) GoFundMe is under the microscope with several states’ attorney generals after seizing donations made in good faith to a charity helping the truckers convoy in Canada that is protesting COVID mandates and subsequently announcing the money would be distributed to a charity of their choice.
“GoFundMe is hereby on notice to preserve materials of any kind,” said the attorney general’s office in Arizona in a letter to GoFundMe, according to the Tennessee Star, “including but not limited to, all documents, drafts, emails, voicemails, text or communication app messages of any kind, and social media communications relating in any way and all times to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser.”
Similarly, the attorney general in Florida, under Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, has opened an investigation into GoFundMe, after the governor accused the crowd-funding site of illegally commandeering $9 million that was donated to the truckers.
Patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers’ worthy cause using GoFundMe. This BLM-backing company went woke, froze the funds, & failed to deliver Texans’ money. Today I assembled a team to investigate their potential fraud & deception. Texas donors will get Justice! #GoFundMe
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 5, 2022
“It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing,” tweeted DeSantis, after GoFundMe announced that they would not distribute the monies raised to the truckers.
“I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices,” DeSantis added. “These donors should be given a refund.”
Florida’s AG, Ashley Moody, told Fox News that GoFundMe’s behavior is possibly illegal because they charged fees to collect money on the false pretense that the money would be distributed the way the donors wanted.
Moody added that GoFundMe supported violent protests by Black Lives Matters and the antifa group that occupied downtown Portland by force in 2020, but refused to help the truckers over purely political motivations.
“Gov. DeSantis was completely right in calling out that nonsense, possibly illegal behavior,” Moody said about GoFundMe, according to Fox.
GoFundMe includes a guarantee of a refund if the money they process has been “misused.”
After Florida’s DeSantis threatened an investigation, GoFundMe announced that it would refund any money requested by donors, but changed it to automatic refunds after Republicans complained, reported Politico.
But that might not be enough to save GoFundMe.
“GoFundMe backed down when the public outrage was so great, but for Big Tech oligarchs to be willing to be the enforcement arm of government authoritarians is extraordinarily dangerous,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, promising an investigation of the company.
The Texas attorney general has already promised the state will take action against GoFundMe.