A GoFundMe campaign that raised $184,000 for Fred Barley, a 19-year-old homeless college student, has been placed on hold following questions raised by Casey Blaney, who started the campaign.
Barley originally said he rode his bike for six hours to sign up for his second semester at Gordon State College in Burnsville, Georgia, about two weeks ago, notes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Police discovered Barley living in a tent on the university campus with only a box of cereal to eat. Instead of arresting the college students, the cops checked him into a hotel for a few days.
The story went viral, which spurred Blaney to create the successful crowd funding campaign.
Blaney reportedly wrote on the campaign's Facebook page, Success For Fred, on July 27: "Unfortunately, multiple questions have been raised about Fred’s story. We’ve received conflicting information about his initial story … We’ve asked for the campaign to be reviewed."
Blaney didn't say exactly what the questions were or what the information was, but Bobby Whithorne, a spokesman for GoFundMe, said in a subsequent statement: "The funds raised are placed on hold and cannot be withdrawn until all the questions have been answered … If they are not, we will refund the donors."
Barley took to Facebook on July 27 to issue a response:
I've had so many people attack my intelligence, my life, my character , and even more important, my integrity. I have not lied to any of you, nor will I. I never told you guys I was a perfect student nor tried to portray it because I'm not...
A lot of people have been trying to tell me that my names is being slandered in multiple ways, it's okay. I accept it with the most genuine love. I do not care to attack someone else's character because that's not how God intended the world to be. Whatever transpires between Casey and I, I want her to still know that I love her and forgive her.
Now, a Change.org petition is calling for GoFundMe to release the funds to Barley, stating: "Numerous people who have donated want the money released directly to Freddy Kennedie Barley. Please sign our petition to stop the non-sense, have this young mans money released and let this young man continue to be responsible for his own future."