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DeSantis Announces Florida Will Investigate GoFundMe After Company Shut Down Freedom Convoy

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis introduced Saturday morning that will work with the state’s lawyer well known to analyze GoFundMe after the organization close down a fundraiser for the Canadian truckers taking part within side the Freedom Convoy.

“The fundraising effort had raised C$10 million—around $7.9 million—and C$1 million had already been distributed to the organizers of the so-called Freedom Convoy before GoFundMe took the decision to stop the fundraiser,” Newsweek reported. “GoFundMe initially announced on Friday it would refund contributions to anyone who applied and the remaining funds would be distributed to charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy organizers and verified by the crowdfunding site.”

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.

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,” the governor added.

GoFundMe’s preliminary assertion saying that it changed into taking down the fundraiser stated:

GoFundMe supports peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.

We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.

To ensure GoFundMe remains a trusted platform, we work with local authorities to ensure we have a detailed, factual understanding of events taking place on the ground. Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform.

Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities verified by GoFundMe.

All donors may submit a request for a full refund until February 19th, 2022 using this dedicated refund form.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey advised citizens in his state to contact his office to let him know if they had “been victimized by a deceptive act or practice” by GoFundMe.

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