Not-so-fun fact: the story of Krystal Gentley and the $5000 she raised on GoFundMe for a so-called friend’s funeral which the family says they never saw was actually one of the very first stories we ever wrote about here on this ole website.
It’s been awhile, so let’s refresh your memory. Tabatha Fauteux died tragically at just 26-years-old last November; after 18 months sober, she’d slipped back into heroin use while training at a rehab facility in California.
Krystal and Tabatha had been on-and-off friends for about eight years, and she fired up a GoFundMe campaign to cover some costs of her sometimes-friend’s celebration of life, without the blessing or even knowledge of Tabatha’s parents at first. The campaign went live within hours of Tabatha’s death.
The family learned of the campaign through social media, and say they became suspicious when Gentley did not attend Tabatha’s memorial service. When pressed to turn over the funds, her family says Gentley began to dodge them and that’s where it all fell apart.
The family contacted GoFundMe and that’s when they learned why Gentley was dodging them: the campaign had been completely wiped out.
“You can’t go any lower in life I think than to do something like that, that was the lowest,” said Tabatha’s mom Sheila back in April. “It just made it harder, it made things go deeper than deep, they were already at their saddest point but to do what she did was even deeper.”
Thankfully, Nashua, New Hampshire police got involved after being approached by the family, and Gentley was subsequently charged with theft by deception. After essentially telling the family they were SOL after Gentley emptied the account, GoFundMe announced that they would “refund” the stolen money directly to the family.
Now, a small development in the case. The Nashua Telegraph [subscription] reports that the indictment has changed her charge from theft by deception to theft by unauthorized taking. It remains a Class A felony.
Gentley is due back in court in February.