GoFundMe has taken action to suspend a fundraiser that purported to benefit the family of a Las Vegas teenager who was tragically beaten to death. The family of the deceased claims that the solicitation for funds is fraudulent, prompting GoFundMe to halt the campaign. The fundraiser, titled “Jonathan Lewis Family,” had garnered nearly $2,000 in donations since its inception a week ago. However, it was brought to light that the main photo used in the campaign was not of 17-year-old Lewis, but of another man with no connection to the family.
The alleged organizer of the fundraiser, Cole Charles, had set up the campaign to raise funds for the Lewis family, but the details surrounding the purpose and use of the funds remained unclear and vague. GoFundMe confirmed that their Trust & Safety team has reached out to the organizer for more information and that all funds raised in the campaign are being safely held by their payment processors during the investigation.
It is important to note that the organizer running the questionable fundraiser does not have access to the raised funds, as GoFundMe will maintain control over the funds until their investigation is complete. Additionally, there is an existing and verified fundraiser on the GoFundMe platform that benefits the Lewis family and has raised well over $100,000. The platform has emphasized that the protection of the GoFundMe community is one of their top priorities, and they have a dedicated team reviewing all fundraisers related to this incident.
The tragic incident that led to Lewis’s death was captured on video, showing him at the center of a brutal beatdown near a Las Vegas high school. It was reported that the attack resulted from a dispute over stolen headphones and possibly a vape pen, with the parties involved agreeing to meet in an alley after school to settle their differences with a physical altercation. Following Lewis’s death, eight minors have been arrested on murder charges, with two more teens believed to have been involved in the fatal incident.
In light of this situation, GoFundMe’s swift and proactive response to fraudulent fundraising efforts underscores their commitment to ensuring the integrity and safety of their platform and community. As the investigation into the fraudulent fundraiser progresses, the platform continues to safeguard the legitimate efforts to support the Lewis family during this difficult time. The verified fundraiser set up to benefit the family of the deceased remains active and has garnered significant support from compassionate donors. As the community comes together to express their solidarity with the Lewis family, it serves as a powerful testament to the impact of genuine and transparent charitable initiatives.