Madison Russo Cancer: Bettendorf resident arrested following GoFundMe scam.
On Monday, police detained and accused a 19-year-old woman with theft by deceit after she claimed to have cancer.
According to a news release from Eldridge Police, Madison Russo is suspected of stealing more than $37,000 from more than 439 donors while making up diagnoses of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, stage 2 pancreatic cancer, and “a tumor the size of a football” that wrapped around her spine.
Russo published her tale in the North Scott Press, on GoFundMe, and on social media. The National Pancreatic Foundation in Chicago, St. Ambrose University, and a Project Purple podcast were among the other venues for her remarks.
At 11:05 a.m. on January 24, 2023 Russo’s arraignment is scheduled for February 23, 2023, at 11 a.m. Police are unable to offer any additional information at this time because this investigation is still underway.
GoFundMe has released a statement in response to this incident;
“GoFundMe has a zero tolerance policy for misuse of our platform and cooperates with law enforcement investigations of those accused of wrongdoing. All donors have been refunded and we have removed this fundraiser,” the statement says. “The organizer has also been banned from using the platform for any future fundraisers. GoFundMe’s Giving Guarantee offers a full refund in the rare case when something isn’t right; this is the first and only donor protection guarantee in the fundraising industry.”