A woman was recently arrested after she allegedly created multiple fake GoFundMe campaigns to raise money for her 4-year-old son whom she claimed had died from cancer, but actually had been given up for adoption, authorities said.
Holly Garcia, 33, of Little Egg Harbor, was arrested on Sept. 24 and charged with computer criminal activity and attempted theft by deception, according to a joint statement from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pemberton Township Police.
An investigation was launched in June after the Pemberton Township couple who had adopted Garcia’s son contacted the police to say his photo was being used in a GoFundMe campaign that sought $5,000 for funeral expenses for the child, police said.
Police discovered that Garcia not only created that campaign but seven others which mostly centered around paying medical bills for a child she did not have where she was seeking a total of $11,350, the office said.
The campaigns sought money for an urn for her dead son’s ashes; assistance for her 4-year-old son who is going blind in one eye (and whose father had died); assistance for her unborn child; a stroller for her two-month old son, who was born premature; and assistance raising rent money for an apartment, because she claimed she was four months pregnant and homeless, according to the statement.
All the campaigns were ended by GoFundMe after the company was notified by police that they were not legitimate and Garcia did not receive any contributions before they were taken down, the office said.
Garcia was released last week after her first appearance in Burlington County Superior Court and now faced indictment by a grand jury, authorities said.
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Chris Sheldon may be reached at [email protected].