New York, NY – A crowdfunding page ostensibly set up to raise funds to oppose a city council candidate running on a platform of stopping “Greedy Jewish Landlords” may have reportedly been a scam intended to channel funds directly to the candidate himself.
According to The New York Post (http://nyp.st/2pB7xuq), Thomas Lopez-Pierre was responsible for creating the GoFundMe page titled “Stop Thomas Lopez Pierre Hate Campa.” Lopez Pierre said that the campaign, set up with the help of a rabbinical student, was intended as a joke.
“We didn’t expect it would raise $1,000,” said Lopez-Pierre.
But the campaign, which encouraged donors with the words “expose this rabid anti-Semite and stop him from getting into office,” raised almost $6,000 in a matter of hours.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2oLdv76), Lopez-Pierre hopes to position himself as a Democratic candidate who will advocate for blacks and Latinos in Manhattan’s 7th District which encompasses the Upper West Side, West Harlem and parts of Washington Heights.
opez-Pierre has unapologetically accused Jewish landlords of having no morals or values, caring more about profits than about people. He has also pulled no punches in his attempts to discredit incumbent councilman Mark Levine, referring to him on multiple occasions as a hypocrite.
VIN News attempted to contact the creator of the GoFundMe campaign on Tuesday to find out how the money that had been raised from donors would be used. The creator of the campaign, identified only as “Aaron G,” did not respond to the request for information.
But Lopez-Pierre reportedly told the Post that he knew exactly how he planned to use any funds that were raised by the page in what he called a “bait and switch.”
“I intend to use the money to pay for my marketing expenses,” said Lopez-Pierre. “The people who are doing this [donating] oppose me. I thank them for their support.”
The crowdfunding page, which bears a picture of Lopez-Pierre topped with a big red “x” is now marked “complete and not currently active.”
GoFundMe has a mechanism for reporting fraudulent campaigns and has policies in place to protect donors from predators. Those who donate to a campaign whose content is found to have inaccurate information about the organizer or its intended purpose can have their donations refunded up to $1000 per donor, per campaign.
Lopez-Pierre declined to comment on the crowdfunding issue. GoFundMe did not immediately return a request for comment on the matter.