New details have surfaced in a disturbing story from Central New York. Martin and Jolene LaFrance reportedly falsely told their son, C.J., he was suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma in order to generate sympathy to solicit donations according to The Syracuse Post-Standard.
Detective Nicole Stewart of the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office says no other family members were “believed to be involved with the scheme,” including C.J.’s uncle Justin Roe, who went with C.J. to a Syracuse football practice and told The Syracuse Post-Standard that his condition was getting worse last August.
C.J. met coach Dino Babers and several of his favorite players at that practice.
The couple illegally solicited about $3,000 through a GoFundMe page, which has recently been deleted, from remorseful donors. The sheriff’s Office charged the couple with scheme to defraud and endangering the welfare of a child last week.
GoFundMe is refunding all of those donations and has banned the LaFrance family. A GoFundMe spokesperson reached out to DieHards.com this week with this statement:
“The LaFrance Family has violated GoFundMe’s terms of service, and all donors will receive a refund. Additionally, they have been banned from our platform. It’s important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back. Additionally, we are working with law enforcement on their investigation.Additionally, it’s important to remember that misuse is extremely rare on our platform. Campaigns with misuse make up less than one tenth of one percent of all campaigns. With that said, there are unfortunate and rare instances where people create campaigns with the intention to take advantage of others’ generosity. In the small handful of cases where misuse occurs, GoFundMe takes action to resolve the issue. For additional information about the GoFundMe guarantee, see here: gofundme.com/guarantee“