The scammer ran a fake GoFundMe campaign

The scammer ran a fake GoFundMe campaign
The scammer ran a fake GoFundMe campaign
Mair Smyth, a scammer who claimed to be an Irish heiress and cheated on dozens of people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, is accused of running a fake GoFundMe page that used the picture of her estranged deceased daughter.

The Daily Mail reports that Jeff Welch said “The Con,” a new series on ABC News that featured Smyth’s story on October 21, that he met Smyth when they were both Navy Corpsmen.

Welch accuses Smyth of using a picture of her late daughter Courtney on the fraudulent GoFundMe page, which has since been closed. Courtney, estranged from Smyth, died of cystic fibrosis in 2012 when she was in her early twenties.

Smyth, now serving a five-year prison sentence for grand theft, shared links to the GoFundMe page on her Twitter account, which appeared to be last active in 2017.

I’m raising money for Courtney’s cystic fibrosis campaign. Click here to donate: via @gofundme

– Mair Smyth (@MairSmyth)

Welch said, “When I saw this GoFundMe page there was a picture of my daughter.

„[Smyth] had raised over $ 16,000 and told people she had a sick child. That made me sick. I can’t believe anyone would do that. ”

Welch, however, was far from being the only victim Smyth had betrayed. Her numerous targets included television producer Jonathan Walton, who, upon discovering Smyth’s misdeeds, launched a campaign to eliminate her.

Regarding Smyth’s GoFundMe scam, Walton wrote on his blog, “Smyth also took advantage of the fatal illness of her other estranged daughter, whom Smyth brought to court as a baby and declared her an incompetent mother, to fraudulently purchase $ 16,460 for GoFundMe on that poor deceased Girl raise name.

“I was able to work with GoFundMe to end this scam. But here is a screenshot from the fraudulent campaign page before it was ripped. None of the funds were ever returned to the victims. ”

Walton first met Smyth in Los Angeles in 2013 and quickly switched from neighbors to “best friends,” Walton said in an August 2019 article for HuffPost.

Smyth constantly treated Walton and his husband with fancy dinners, often telling the couple that she had a lot of money, money she brought with her when she left Ireland, and that she enjoyed treating her friends.

Oddly enough, Smyth had a strange fascination with wanting to be Irish – so much so that she invented a person based on growing up in Ireland.

In der Tat, Smyths still public Twitter account offers a lot of engagement for posts about Irish sports, Irish language and even retweeted an IrishCentral post.

Walton wrote in the HuffPost article: “Mair told us that she was originally from Ireland and one night she pointed to a framed document hanging in her living room. “This is the Irish constitution,” she said. “Do you see that signature below? This belongs to my great uncle. ‚”

“Since my knowledge of Ireland was little, I believed her,” wrote Walton, “I had no idea that this story, like her shoes, was also a fake.”

He describes how intricately Smyth made up her lie: “Mair brought me Irish tea and pastries and told me how her grandmother, who allegedly was in the Irish Republican Army, would take her to the top as a young girl on a bridge and bring Mair on how to throw Molotov cocktails at British soldiers. I was fascinated and horrified. But her stories about her family were also lies. ”


Jonathan Walton und Mair Smyth. (Jonathan Walton)

Walton would later find out that Smyth was actually born and raised in Maine before moving to Tennessee. It was 2000 before Smyth even visited Ireland, and while on vacation she married an Irishman she had previously met online and who had lived in Northern Ireland for nine years.

Most of Smyth’s lavish betrayal depended on her nonexistent family in Ireland. Walton says, “Mair told me that an uncle, the patriarch of her family, recently died and her cousins ​​shared an estate worth 25 million euros. She said she should receive 5 million euros – that was $ 6.5 million at the time – as her share of the inheritance. ”

In his play for HuffPost, Walton describes how he released Smyth from jail and how she cheated on him out of tens of thousands of dollars before he finally learned the truth.

After Walton started his blog to find out more about Smyth’s victims, he said he was contacted by police in Northern Ireland: “I even got a call from a police officer in Northern Ireland. He told me that Belfast authorities had been looking for Marianne Smyth for years. The detective said she worked as a mortgage broker in 2008, cheated on many other people, and then disappeared. ”

Ultimately, Smyth was found guilty of cheating on Walton more than $ 91,000 in January 2019 and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence. Earlier this year, Walton told The Hollywood Reporter that he hoped Smyth would be extradited to Northern Ireland.

You can see the teaser for the Mair Smyth episode of “The Con” on ABC News here:

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