Sheriff: One charged with GoFundMe account fraud in Jones County - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Sheriff: One charged with GoFundMe account fraud in Jones County

Brent Michel Brent Michel
JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

The Jones County Sheriff's Department has charged a suspect in a crowd sourcing fund fraud case. 

After a car accident on Nov. 8, 2015, Brent Michele, 31 of Laurel, contacted the family of the accident victim with an interest in helping, according to a news release from the Jones County Sheriff's Department. 

Michele set up a “GoFundMe” account that deposited funds directly into a local bank to help with the victim’s medical expenses, through various fundraisers. 

The efforts quickly amassed a total over $14,000. 

“Unfortunately it turned out that not all the funds were not handed over or used for this family,” Jones Sheriff Department Public Relations Officer Allyson Scott said.

Michele began acting suspicious about the money after he claimed his truck had been burglarized on Dec. 8, 2015, and he had in it $1,950 that he had withdrawn from the account for t-shirt expenses. 

That amount was far short of the actual debt, according to the sheriff's department.

After a check of the account by the victim, several suspicious withdrawals were listed, all made by Michele.  It was also reported that Michele had told a friend he had been gambling on the night the money went missing.

Michele was charged with fraud by mail or other means of communication. 

Upon hearing of the warrant for his arrest, Michele turned himself in to authorities at the Jones County Adult Detention Center. 

Michele will have his initial appearance at Jones County Justice Court on Monday at 2 p.m.

 Knotts said people should be careful when they donate to online accounts.

“You might want to do your research and make sure the money is going where it is said because when you go on Go-fund me there are thousands of frivolous accounts,” Knotts said. 

Copyright WDAM 2016. All rights reserved. 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Hattiesburg needs votes for Levitt AMP Concert Series to return

    Hattiesburg needs votes for Levitt AMP Concert Series to return

    Monday, November 20 2017 2:10 PM EST2017-11-20 19:10:07 GMT
    SOURCE: City of HattiesburgSOURCE: City of Hattiesburg
    This past summer, Hattiesburg hosted the Levitt AMP Concert Series, but the concerts were due to a grant provided by the Levitt Foundation that was awarded to the University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism. They are up for the grant again, but currently need more votes to bring the concert series back. Hattiesburg is currently at No. 26 in voting, and they need to be in the top 25 to qualify.  Voting ends tonight at 7 p.m. To vote, go to ...More >>
    This past summer, Hattiesburg hosted the Levitt AMP Concert Series, but the concerts were due to a grant provided by the Levitt Foundation that was awarded to the University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism. They are up for the grant again, but currently need more votes to bring the concert series back. Hattiesburg is currently at No. 26 in voting, and they need to be in the top 25 to qualify.  Voting ends tonight at 7 p.m. To vote, go to ...More >>
  • Hattiesburg Mayor's Financial Education Initiative looking for volunteers

    Hattiesburg Mayor's Financial Education Initiative looking for volunteers

    Monday, November 20 2017 2:00 PM EST2017-11-20 19:00:04 GMT
    City of HattiesburgCity of Hattiesburg

    The City of Hattiesburg is searching for volunteers for the Mayor's Financial Education Initiative. The initiative needs volunteers with tax preparation experience to help out the senior population and low-to-moderate income earners with their 2017 taxes. Volunteers should be comfortable computers and ideally have tax return preparation experience, though the latter is not required.  Training sessions will be held in December and January. Interested volunteers can contact Maxi...

    More >>

    The City of Hattiesburg is searching for volunteers for the Mayor's Financial Education Initiative. The initiative needs volunteers with tax preparation experience to help out the senior population and low-to-moderate income earners with their 2017 taxes. Volunteers should be comfortable computers and ideally have tax return preparation experience, though the latter is not required.  Training sessions will be held in December and January. Interested volunteers can contact Maxi...

    More >>
  • Top Mississippi colleges for online programs ranked

    Top Mississippi colleges for online programs ranked

    Monday, November 20 2017 1:42 PM EST2017-11-20 18:42:25 GMT
    SOURCE: onlinecolleges.comSOURCE: onlinecolleges.com
    Onlinecolleges.com released its rankings for the top colleges for online programs in the state of Mississippi on Monday. The website used a variety of factors, including affordability, student services and the availability of online programs. East Mississippi Community College secured a top spot, with the University of Southern Mississippi ranking at number 3.  All schools were ranked on 10-point scale against a 14 different metrics using data from the National Center for Educa...More >>
    Onlinecolleges.com released its rankings for the top colleges for online programs in the state of Mississippi on Monday. The website used a variety of factors, including affordability, student services and the availability of online programs. East Mississippi Community College secured a top spot, with the University of Southern Mississippi ranking at number 3.  All schools were ranked on 10-point scale against a 14 different metrics using data from the National Center for Educa...More >>
Powered by Frankly