Statewide NewsTexas Attorney General Launches GoFundMe Probe After Site Halts Donations to ‘Freedom Convoy’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating GoFundMe for deceptive trade practices after the organization halted donations to a fundraiser.
February 9, 2022
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that he began an investigation in the popular crowd-funding site GoFundMe after the company halted contributions to the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” of truckers protesting COVID-19 restrictions including vaccination mandates.

“GoFundMe’s response to an anti-mandate, pro-liberty movement should ring alarm bells to anyone using the donation platform and, more broadly, any American wanting to protect their constitutional rights,” said Paxton in a press release.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) issued Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) to the company as it seeks to determine if it violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

In the CID sent to the organization, the OAG requested a list of 29 sorts of documents to be produced including documents identifying “each one of your Terms of Service that Freedom Convoy violated” and all communications between the company and the U.S. and Canadian governments regarding the fundraiser.

GoFundMe reportedly halted the fundraising page for the convoy after it received more than $10 million in contributions.

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The organization claimed that it “supports peaceful protests” and “believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.”

However, it halted the donations, saying, “We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.”

GoFundMe says that it halted contributions because the fundraiser was in violation of its terms of service that “prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment.”

According to the company, those organizing the fundraiser “provided a clear distribution plan for the initial”  $1 million that was released and “used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest.”

GoFundMe says that all other donations “have been automatically refunded.”

“Many Texans donated to this worthy cause,” said Paxton. “I am acting to protect Texas consumers so that they know where their hard-earned money is going, rather than allowing GoFundMe to divert money to another cause without the consent of Texas citizens. I will get to the bottom of this deceitful action.”

In addition to Paxton’s investigation, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also said that he sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking that the agency launch an investigation into whether GoFundMe committed deceptive trade practices.


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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.

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