TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee woman is facing felony charges after being accused of stealing more than $8,000 in donations from the family of 8-year-old girl who was killed in a Leon County tornado outbreak back in April.
On April 19, 2019, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 11000 block of Woodville Highway in reference to a tree falling into a residence during a tornado. An eight-year-old, Mariah Weinman, died in the incident.
The same day, Amanda Strickland, who lived next door to the victim’s family, opened a GoFundMe campaign to help the family. The GoFundMe was linked to Strickland’s personal bank account.
By April 26, 2019, the campaign had raised more than $14,000. Strickland wrote a check to the family for $13,000, the final amount on that date, after fees from GoFundMe were deducted.
However, deputies say donations continued to come into the campaign until June 10, 2019.
The total amount donated over the course of the campaign was more than $21,000. They say Strickland never gave the victim’s family any more money which had been collected.
After an interview with LCSO Financial Crimes detectives, Strickland was arrested and taken to the Leon County Detention Facility on Wednesday for failure to apply contributions in a manner substantially consistent with the solicitation.
She has since been released on a $1,000 bond.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to only give donations to known charities to ensure the proceeds are given to the intended cause.