GoFundMe accounts have become the wild-wild west in terms of online donations. While people can create funds to help pay for anything from medical procedures to college expenses, the one expectation donors have is transparency: meaning when they give their money for a certain cause, they expect that’s what their dollars will be used for.
It’s for that reason that many are looking at Chicago mother Karla Lee sideways right now. Lee is the mother of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee who was fatally shot on the south side of the city last week in what was believed to be a targeted attack of retaliation due to his father’s gang affiliation. Lee’s friend reportedly set up a GoFundMe page following the murder to help the mother “lay her son to rest,” but after donations reached $17,500 by Saturday afternoon and news spread that the 26-year-old had purchased a 2015 Chrysler 200, many accused her of misusing the donations.
In a series of Instagram videos which have since been deleted, Lee reportedly said she used her own money to buy the new car. She also defended the purchase by saying “I got this sh-t for my protection…I’m pretty sure that’s something my son would have wanted me to do,” adding that she was afraid she’d be targeted as well if she used public transportation.
While that may be all well and true, the question remains if Lee had enough money to purchase a brand new car why did people need to donate funds to help her bury her son? That’s a question we may never know the answer to, as Lee claimed in an interview with ABC News that, after paying for some funeral expenses and giving GoFundMe its percentage fee, $13,000 remains in the account created for her. Meanwhile, the reward for information related to her son’s killing has now reached $54,000.
Do you think there’s something suspicious about Lee’s purchase?