On Monday, the New York authorities arrested Port Byron couple who faked their child’s cancer to collect online donations. According to the police report, the two suspects claimed that their son was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition and subsequently launched a GoFundMe campaign.
New York Couple Collected Thousands of Dollars from Donations
Following a time-consuming investigation, the New York law enforcement officers arrested Jolene and Martin LaFrance, both 35. The Port Byron couple was charged with first-degree scheme to defraud and endangering a child’s welfare.
Based on the police report, the New York couple discovered several months ago that donations websites such as GoFundMe could be a gold mine if one knows what buttons to press.
Thus, Martian and Jolene launched a GoFundMe campaign for their son. The heartfelt message read that their child was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and that they can’t afford the treatment.
Weeks after launching the campaign, the New York couple cashes in at least several thousand.
Meanwhile, the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office launched an inquiry into the couple’s claims. The investigation later revealed that the couple’s child was never diagnosed with cancer nor other illnesses.
After being arrested, the couple confessed to faking the GoFundMe profile because “it was easy money.”
Following the confession, they were charged with one count each of first-degree scheme to defraud and endangering the welfare of a child.
Subsequently, the couple’s GoFundMe account has been banned. A website spokesperson declared that all who contributed would get their money back.
Although people like the LaFrance family believe that people can be swindled with a sob story, the GoFundMe spokesperson argued that such occurrences are very rare.
The New York couple was booked into prison and will return to court on the 16th of May.
Image source: MaxPixel