We’ve all seen those fundraising pages on Facebook from people who are trying to fund their study abroad trips or who are trying to raise money to cover medical expenses. Though the online crowdfunding pages can do a lot of good for people, there is no guarantee that the money will be used for what the page states it will.
Jennifer Cataldo faked a cancer diagnosis for almost three years to make fast and easy money. In all, she raised almost $300,000 from innocent people who believed her story and wanted to help her pay her bills and offer her support in a time of need. In return, Cataldo used the money to help fuel her drug addiction, among other things.
Cataldo’s legal team states that she fell into a deep depression when her brother passed away and since then has not been in the right frame of mind. The prosecution, however, sees her as a manipulative and greedy individual who didn’t want to go out and work in order to make some cash.
The prosecution also alleges that Cataldo let her family members and friends believe she was dying from the disease. Those individuals are believed to be the ones who contributed the most to her fundraising page. Now, they say they wish they never gave a penny from their pockets.
Cataldo has expressed great remorse for her actions and states that she will never be able to make it up to the people she lied to. However, her apologies were not enough to help her evade jail time, and she was given a sentence of two years for her merciless scheme.
Those who gave to Cataldo’s fake donation page say that they do not want their money back, they just want to see Cataldo reap the consequences of her actions. They also share that despite the deceit they encountered, they would not be opposed to donating to a fundraising page again, as long as proper proof was provided for the cause of the campaign.