Does greed know no boundaries? Not on GoFundMe, it doesn’t.
A former Cleveland sports radio producer and on-air personality is facing criminal charges after police say he stole more than $7,000 from a fundraiser he started for a woman suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Joseph Gerard Spooner, known to listeners of 92.3 The Fan as “J.G. Spooner” funneled every donation made last year to the GoFundMe campaign into his personal bank account, according to police reports.
Spooner, 35, now faces a charge of money laundering.
He was arrested Tuesday and released after he posted 10 percent of his $10,000 bond.
Spooner was fired by 92.3 The Fan earlier this week, according to a spokesman for the station.
All of this (allegedly) started in February of 2015 when Spooner found out his childhood friend Allyson Thadeus-Zappe was suffering from cystic fibrosis. Her friends started a GoFundMe to help her out, which raised about $770.
Spooner, being the philanthropist and generous on-air ‘personality’ he is, reached out to the family offering to lend his name to a new GoFundMe campaign. The family agreed and Spooner’s effort brought in $7,300.
Meanwhile, Thadeus-Zappe died in July of 2015.
That’s when things unfolded in typical GoFundMe fraudster fashion:
For months, Thaddeus-Zappe’s family waited for the money to be transferred, but it never came. One of the organizers received an email from GoFundMe in July indicating that the money was transferred to Spooner.
The family confronted Spooner several times, and each time he denied that he had the money. Spooner said GoFundMe still had control of the donations.
He also offered other excuses, including a busy work schedule and technical problems with his phone and email.
Spooner became increasingly uncooperative and avoided calls and emails from Thaddeus-Zappe and her family.
Thankfully, diligent police were able to get their hands on Spooner’s bank records, which told them all they needed to know about where the money went. A warrant was issued on April 1 of this year and Spooner turned himself in earlier this week.
Sweet Superman tat, bro!
It’s worth noting that up until now, Spooner had a pretty successful radio career, earning himself the designation of most decorated radio host in Wyoming before turning to (alleged) GoFundMe fraud back in his home state of Ohio.
Was it worth it, buddy?