After weeks of stories highlighting her dual six-figure fundraisers, Rebekah Jones finally ended her first GoFundMe campaign.
After raking in over half-a-million dollars from two active accounts on the public charity website, the former Florida Department of Health (DOH) employee ended her initial fundraiser that she started after she was fired from her post. The campaign, which she started in May after she was terminated for insubordination, had been active since going online, despite Jones claiming that she ended the fundraiser back in September.
At its conclusion, Jones raised $260,185 in the account, with the final donation posting 6 days ago.
Her accounts, which have raised $512,608 thus far, have been the subject of scrutiny over the past few weeks — with many asking Jones to add transparency to how the funds would be used. The Capitolist ran several stories regarding the fundraisers and even reached out to Jones for clarity on the issue. Jones, however, ducked questions about the thousands of dollars she collected in the fundraising account.
In an email exchange with The Capitolist earlier this month, Jones acknowledged that her first GoFundMe fundraiser, which solicited funds specifically for her personal use, had “expired” on Sept. 30, and explained that she has tried to discourage donors from giving money there. However, she declined to answer follow-up questions seeking more information on her efforts to discourage those donations, or how more than 600 new donors have managed to pour in about $28,000 to the purportedly expired account since that time.
“My previous fundraiser expired in Sept., and the other one looks like a duplicate,” Jones said in an email from Dec. 15. “I’ve been asking people not to give money to that one as I don’t know how it was created.
There are a number of fake accounts, fundraisers, etc., out there with my name on them, which is why I’m trying to communicate clearly what I’ve raised, what it’s for, and what accounts are actually mine,” she concluded.
Jones did not respond when asked why she decided to finally end the fundraiser sometime last week. She did, however, post a new image and message update on the page before ending the fundraiser.
“This fundraiser is closed. Thank you to everyone who has supported this effort,” Jones said in the update.
Jones’ second fundraiser remains active, with donations exceeding $252,000. Jones claims that the page is dedicated to her “legal defense” and “expenses to fight the Governor’s recent attack” on her home and family.
After our article posted, Jones provided this response to our questions.
“I’ve read the trash on your website. No thanks,” Jones said in an email. “Pardon the typos.”