A woman in Capitol Heights, Maryland, started a GoFundMe funding account to help raise money for the family of a slain woman that she used to work with. However, the financial assistance turned out to reportedly be a scam by the woman. The Washington Post reported that police in Capitol Heights arrested Arlene Petty, 30, and charged her with criminal fraud over her collection of the money. According to police reports, Petty raised $38,185, but allegedly only gave $9,000 to the family and transferred the rest of the money to her own personal bank accounts. This is yet another new criminal case the family of the late Stephanie Goodloe.
The Murder Of Stephanie Goodloe
Stephanie Goodloe, 40, was a church youth ministry leader when she died. According to a previous Washington Post article, Goodloe had filed for a restraining order against an ex-boyfriend, Donald Hairston, 49. Her 11-year-old daughter was at the home when she heard the gunshots and watched Hairston run by her bedroom.
Goodloe died and left her daughter behind after the tragedy. There was no recorded past history between the two individuals, but court records show that the restraining order was placed two weeks before the murder of Goodloe. With an 11-year-old daughter left behind, it seemed like someone was stepping up to help out in the time of need.
The GoFundMe Scam
Ariene Petty said she was a former co-worker of Stephanie Goodloe and wanted to help. She contacted the grandmother of the surviving child, and despite being wary of the offer, she said that she was convinced that this could be good for her granddaughter.
After Petty received $38,185 from the GoFundMe fundraising effort, she reportedly sent $9,000 to the grandmother, whose bank account was also linked to the GoFundMe account. However, she issued a complaint to Washington, D.C., police when she learned she was locked out of the fundraising account and her bank account was no longer getting any money. Petty allegedly then transferred the remainder of the money, $35,054, to her own bank account.
GoFundMe has responded to the entire scam and they seem ready to help. Bobby Whitmore, who represented the company to the press, said that less than one-tenth of the campaigns are guilty of misuse. He said that GoFundMe will work with the courts and that they will make a donation to the Stephanie Goodloe family if the money cannot be recouped.
Police arrested Arlene Petty and filed the fraud charges. The courts released Petty over the weekend and she will return for a hearing at the D.C. Superior Court on Jan. 22. She has remained quiet concerning the charges.