Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has announced that Florida will investigate GoFundMe over their commandeering of donations meant for the truckers in Canada. Originally the money was to go to the truckers until GoFundMe decided to stop the funding campaign. Then they announced that they would give refunds to those requesting it with the balance to go to a charity designated by the Freedom Convoy organizers and verified by the crowdfunding site.”
DeSantis responded to the news with a tweet, writing:
“It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.”
“I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.”
Because of the outrage from donors, GoFundme changed course and issued the following statement:
To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser. This refund will happen automatically—you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days.
The update we issued earlier enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process and automatically refunding donations.
Gov. Desantis was not the only one to complain about the original GoFundMe plan. AG Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia also considered the plan to be a fraud perpetrated against the donors.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey urged residents in his state to contact his office to let him know if they had “been victimized by a deceptive act or practice” by GoFundMe.
“#GoFundMe now won’t honor #FreedomConvoy donations and will instead redirect to other charities? In WV, organizations must not deceive donors and engage in deceptive advertising practices. If you’ve been victimized by a deceptive act or practice, let us know!” Morrisey wrote. “According to their website, #GoFundMe is not automatically refunding the donations. Individuals interested in a refund can submit the form below if they do so by Feb 19, 2022. This will avoid the ‘redirecting’ of the donation.”