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GoFundMe to reimburse donations from poker player’s scam

GoFundMe to reimburse donations from poker player's scam

Rob Mercer refused to refund the money he received, so GoFundMe will

The GoFundMe fundraising platform announced on Thursday that it has reimbursed donations made to a poker player after he admitted to lying about having terminal cancer to raise money to cover his entry into the World Series of Poker this summer in Las Vegas.

GoFundMe also said that it banned Rob Mercer from the platform and deleted his account and fundraising campaign. In an emailed statement to the Associated Press, the company said, “GoFundMe has zero tolerance for the misuse of our platform and takes swift action against those who exploit the generosity of our community.”

Mercer said he made up a fake stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis and put the false information on his GoFundMe page in June. He was trying to raise enough money to pay the $10,000 buy-in for the WSOP Main Event No-limit Hold ’em tournament. Contributions totaled between $30,000 and $50,000, including a free hotel suite at the Bellagio. Another poker player from Arizona suffering from chronic illness even donated $2,500.

“I’m sorry for not being honest about what my situation was,” said Mercer. “If I would have done that from Day One, who knows what would have happened.”

The Las Vegas police haven’t yet responded to a Thursday inquiry into whether they’re conducting an investigation against Mercer. GoFundMe has already said in a statement that it would cooperate with any law enforcement efforts.

The 37-year-old Californian said he wouldn’t be giving refunds to any donors because he thinks he has undiagnosed breast cancer.

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