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Woman accused of stealing from crowdfunding account she set up for grieving family

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 49-year-old Minnesota woman faces charges for allegedly stealing money from a crowdfunding account she set up for a family who suffered a loss, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Kimberly Ann Freese faces one count of theft in connection to the November 2017 incident.

Freese is accused of offering to help a family, who she is an acquaintance of, set up a GoFundMe account to help with expenses after the family suffered a death in the family in November 2017.

According to the criminal complaint, the campaign raised $2,645 from 34 people who donated believing the funds were going to the victim’s family.

Police began investigating after the family didn’t receive any of the funds, despite the family asking Freese for it.

In January, Freese admitted to police that she received the funds — approximately $2,245 after processing fees were deducted – but that she didn’t have them anymore. She said the money went to a “court thing” but that she was planning to make an arrangement with the victim to pay him, the complaint said.

However, the complaint says that Freese’s bank records show that she made around 50 purchases from Amazon, iTunes, pizza places and other places after receiving the GoFundMe deposit.

As of March 15, Freese has not made any payment to the victim nor attempted to arrange payment.

Freese will make her first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon.

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