- GoFundMe shut down a fundraiser for a Canadian protest over cross-border trucker vaccine mandates.
- GoFundMe on Friday said it would work with organizers to redistribute the funds to other charities.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called that plan “fraud” saying he’d investigate “deceptive practices.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would work with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to investigate GoFundMe for “deceptive practices” after the company said it would send remaining funds from the “Freedom Convoy” campaign to charities picked by organizers.
On Friday, the platform blocked $10 million in donations that were meant to go to the Canadian trucker vaccine protest. The protests began last weekend over mandates that truckers working across the US-Canada border must be vaccinated.
In a statement, GoFundMe said $1 million was released earlier this week and that fundraising organizers said the funds would be used for people who were traveling to Ottawa to participate in peaceful protests.
“Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe,” the platform said.
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly told The Washington Post on Saturday that there were a thousand vehicles, roughly 5,000 protesters, and at least 300 counterprotesters in the city.
“This is a siege,” Sloly told the Post. “It is something that is different in our democracy than I’ve ever experienced in my life.”
—Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022
The governor called for donors to get their money back: “These donors should be given a refund,” he said.
However, his remarks came after GoFundMe already announced it had changed its approach and would instead be sending all donors a refund.
“We will automatically refund all contributions directly — donors do not need to submit a request,” the platform said in a statement.
DeSantis’ office and GoFundMe did not immediately respond to Insider’s email requests for comment.