GoFundMe Freezes $184,000 In Funds Donated to Homeless Teen After Inquiry Into Story

Fred Barley

The Georgia woman who started a highly successful GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Fred Barley, a 19-year-old whose story went viral after he biked six hours just to register for classes at a Georgia college, is now apparently questioning the young man’s story, leading to the $184,000 raised being frozen, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“Unfortunately, multiple questions have been raised about Fred’s story. We’ve received conflicting information about his initial story, and we just want to make sure the donors and the public have all of the information available to them before the funds are transferred to a trust to pay for his education. We just want to do the right thing, and we’ve asked for the campaign to be reviewed,” Blaney wrote in a Facebook message to the Success for Fred Facebook group.

Casey Blaney’s message on Facebook FACEBOOK
Casey Blaney’s message on Facebook

Blaney, of Barnesville, Ga., had started the GoFundMe for Barley after learning of his story. Police officers came upon the 19-year-old Barley camping out in a tent on campus, where he said he intended to stay until the dorms at Gordon State College opened. Officers paid for lodging at a local motel with their own money after hearing out the story, and Blaney launched her campaign.

Now some $184,000 deep in donations, an apparent dispute has formed between the two, AJC notes. Barley, the site notes, objected to Blaney’s plans to put the money in a trust, indicating that he would only do so if he could choose the attorney and the trustee.

By Wednesday evening, Blaney had posted her Facebook message, announcing the inquiry into Barley’s story. According to AJC, it is not exactly clear what questions have been raised.

“The funds raised are placed on hold and cannot be withdrawn until all the questions have been answered. … If they are not, we will refund the donors,” GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said in a statement, AJC notes.

Barley has since released his own statement, saying, “I’ve had so many people attack my intelligence, my life, my character, and even more important, my integrity. I have not lied to any of you, nor will I.”

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SOURCE: The Root – Breanna Edwards