Less than a year after he was first arrested for stealing from a GoFundMe campaign he set up for a woman with cystic fibrosis, disgraced Cleveland radio DJ Joseph “JG” Spooner has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.
“Everyone knew J.G. Spooner as a radio personality,” assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor Edward Brydle told Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Brian J. Corrigan. “But I don’t think anybody knew he was a heartless con-man.”
Spooner was first arrested last April, charged with a single count of money laundering related to his GoFundMe scam, and released on bail. That’s when things got, well, nuclear.
While out on bail, he took more than $8500 from unsuspecting strangers via a Craigslist rental scam in which he attempted to rent out a house he did not own. The court was first aware of these activities back in November, yet he continued to do it until he was charged for that as well.
The prosecutor in the case said one of the victims was Kate Ahmed, who worked at a Cleveland law firm. After her own landlord sold the house she was living in, she had 30 days to find a new place. That’s when she found Spooner’s apartment online and got together $1800 in deposits and rent to move in. When that time came, Spooner said that the move-in date would be postponed for 30 days; Ahmed then had no place to live with her three children.
Ahmed went to police.
In addition (holy crap this guy is like an all-you-can-scam buffet), friends of Spooner’s let him work at their bar while he was working through his court case. He stole blank checks from the business and wrote himself over $6500 in fraudulent cash.
Though it wasn’t mentioned in court, we also discovered that Spooner stole from a GoFundMe campaign he created for a charity that helps kids and young adults with special needs. That charity told us they never received a dime.
And now, his reign of scamming terror is over, though he’ll undoubtedly figure out a way to scam ramen and prison-issue boxer shorts while he’s serving his 30 months.
“You knew what you were doing, and what you did was wrong,” Cassie Thadeus, sister of the woman who died of cystic fibrosis, said at sentencing. “Your family should be ashamed of you. Your lawyer should be ashamed of you. This courtroom should be ashamed of you. But you should be ashamed of yourself. You deserve nothing.”
Thadeus said that his thefts “caused her sister to spend her final weeks alive worrying about the money she planned to donate as part of her legacy, instead of enjoying the moments with her friends and families.”
He’ll have plenty of time to think about that in prison.