On February 9, the Texas Attorney General released a GoFundMe investigation into a fundraising company’s attempt to solicit donations for trucking fleets protesting the COVID-19 vaccine obligation.
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sends GoFundMe Probe notificationOrder company representatives to prepare various documents related to fundraising.
GoFundMe plans to seize the $ 10 million Canadians ($ 8 million) raised for Canada’s Freedom Convoy on February 4, and redistribute the money to unnamed charities. Announced.
The rationale for this move was explained as the receipt of “evidence from law enforcement agencies that previously peaceful demonstrations became a profession and police reported violence and other illegal activities.” The Ottawa police chief later acknowledged GoFundMe’s move.
Following the backlash, GoFundMe quickly turned back and said the donations would be automatically refunded and not sent to charity.
Paxton wants all documents related to discussions with law enforcement agencies, including those related to allegations of violence.
He also made donations to one fundraiser “based on reports that beneficiaries and / or their supporters were engaged in violence or other illegal activities” by GoFundMe to another fundraiser or charity. I’m asking for all the documents that identify each instance redirected to.
GoFundMe was provided until February 28th to create the file.
The investigation focuses on potential violations of Texas’s Deceptive Trading Practices Act, which prohibits “false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices in conducting trade or commerce.”
“GoFundMe’s response to anti-mandate, liberal movements warns everyone using the donation platform, and more broadly, all Americans who want to protect their constitutional rights,” Paxton said in a statement. It should be. ” “Many Texas people donated to this valuable purpose. I don’t allow GoFundMe to divert money to another purpose without the consent of Texas citizens, but where is the hard earned money? We’re working to protect Texas consumers so they know where to go. I’ll get to the root of this deceptive behavior. “
California-based GoFundMe does not respond to requests for comment.
Several U.S. Attorney Generals expressed concern about the unusual behavior of the platform shortly after it was announced.
“Will GoFundMe not respect Freedom Convoy’s donations and redirect them to other charities instead?” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement at the time. “In West Virginia, organizations must not deceive donors or engage in deceptive advertising. Please let us know if you are victims of deceptive behavior or practices.”
Another Republican, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, said his office would investigate whether GoFundMe violated state law.
After GoFundMe released the latest information, three other Republicans, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody promised to investigate the company.
Canadian officials have not promised to investigate GoFundMe.
Since then, truck drivers have turned to GoFundMe’s rival, GiveSendGo.
“Give Send Go represents hope and freedom. We have God-given freedom, not government-approved, but rather protected by our government. We do not tolerate any form of violence! We contact the campaign organizers and the funds raised will not be used to fund the act of violence. I received the full guarantee, “a spokesman told The Epoch Times in an email.
“We recognize that there are a small number of individuals and groups that may deliberately incite violence, as in a polarized situation. We pollute this movement with the opposite group. I understand that it is used for. I do not broadly describe these individual situations as if this movement were to be associated. “
Omid Ghoreishi contributed to this report.