46-year-old Sergeant Kenneth Steil of the Detroit Police died this past Saturday after being shot by a suspect he was pursuing the week prior. It wasn’t long before the GoFundMe cockroaches came skittering out from under the fridge to capitalize on his death.
A mother and her two sons were arrested Wednesday over a GoFundMe campaign in the fallen officer’s name investigators say was put up without authorization.
“This is a despicable act of selfishness and greed,” said Commander Elvin Barren.
When officers arrived at the home of the suspected GoFundMe fraudster, they discovered a crop of what they believed to be illegal marijuana plants. “That’s why our narcotic unit is here already they discovered violations,” said Barren. “We have not seen paperwork that shows he is a licensed caregiver from that point we are going to collect his marijuana and continue the investigation.”
The suspect’s brother said the plants were perfectly legal due to his brother being a licensed caregiver. Police removed $43,000 worth of marijuana.
The suspect’s mother rushed to the scene and was later arrested after an officer claimed she attempted to run him over.
The suspect’s father says this is all one big understanding. “(The account was set up) to get money and he was going to give it to the family of the deceased,” he said.
Police say the name used on the GoFundMe campaign — Akbar Mohammed — is linked to other phony campaigns.
“This person also has GoFundMe accounts for other sources like military veterans and whatnot,” Barren said. “Those will be investigated as well to see if he collected money and did he distribute that money under pretenses of military personnel.”
Those potentially associated campaigns have since been removed from GoFundMe, but we found a cache of one seeking to raise $10 million to put veterans to work. The campaign owner claims to be an Army veteran and full-time student.
In another, the man identified himself as Walter Kelly aka Akbar Muhammed, and proposed some kind of pyramid scheme via GoFundMe. That campaign has also been removed, but here is a saved cache.
That’s not all. If we follow his YouTube channel, we find he also had up a campaign called “Hellcats for Hellraisers” asking $100k for a personal car. That campaign is still live, but likely not for long. Here’s a cache for posterity.
In another campaign, he’s asking for $100k again but this time to buy Camaros for veterans. Insert strong eyeroll here. That campaign, too, is still up, but not for long we’re sure. Oh look, here’s a cache.
The campaign for Sergeant Steil has been removed, but a printout can be seen below.
Another GoFundMe campaign for Kenneth Steil of unknown relation has also been removed.
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