Seattle man attempted GoFundMe fraud in the name of Ethiopian Doctor

Dr. Ayele Teshome is an Ethiopian doctor who goes out of his way to help out his patients and community. Days after his story was featured on national TV, he became a victim of what appears to be a fraud on GoFundMe.

Dr. Ayele _ Ethiopian doctor
Dr Ayele, victim of what appears to be GoFundMe fraud. Photo: Screenshot from EBC video

borkena
May 18, 2020

In early May 2020, Ethiopian State Media featured a story about Dr. Ayele Teshome who was born and raised in rural Ethiopia in Merhabete.

Awudeseb is a show on Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation that features individuals who have immensely contributed to the betterment of the Ethiopian society and those who have remarkable achievements in life.

Dr. Ayele’s case is not so much about his achievement but rather about his multifaceted effort to give back to his community.

Based on the featured show, it is clear that Dr. Ayele is an embodiment of a noble citizen who strives to selflessly serve his country.

Days after the show, a certain Haikel Shukry launched a “GoFundMe” account to allegedly “help Dr. Aleye” to raise US $50,000.

What is astonishing is that Dr. Ayele was not consulted about it, and he doesn’t even know the person who was trying to raise funds in his name.

Borkena confirmed from a credible source, an Ethiopian who lives in Canada who is a friend of Dr. Ayele, that Dr. Ayele does not even know the person who has launched a  GoFundMe account.

On May 16, 2020, Dr. Ayele posted a message on his community Facebook page saying that a person not known to him has launched a GoFundme campaign on his name.

“I disclose that [The GoFundMe campaign] is never known to me and is without my recognition. It is with great humility that I ask you not to donate any money. I ask those of you who happen to this [message] a favor to share it. Thank you,” he wrote.

Dr. Ayele

The issue is already reported to GoFundMe and the “campaign to help Dr. Ayele” is flagged.

Dr. Ayele wrote another Facebook update on May 18 – this time to thank all those Ethiopians who helped stop the campaign.

Haikel Shukry, the person who tried to organize a fundraising campaign without the knowledge or authorization from Dr. Ayele, identified himself as a resident of Seattle Washington.

$650 was raised before the account was suspended. It is unclear if GoFundMe is refunding the money to the donors.

After GoFundMe suspended the account, “the organizer” wrote 352 words “CLARIFICATION ON THE DONATION,”  which is published in the GoFundMe account he launched. 

It reads as follows :  

“CLARIFICATION ON THE DONATION
Hello every one
My name is Haikel shukry from Seattle Washington I am well respected and active Ethiopian American member of the community also the one who started the charity to the respected Dr Ayele teshome I don’t personally know Dr Ayele i just saw his amazing work like every one of you and touched by it

This morning I just got a contact from someone who happen to see the fundraising and told me that the fundraiser is flagged as fraud I would like to clarify this with every one including Dr Ayele teshome who I sent my contact info to be able to discuss and clarify with him.

The life story of Dr Ayele teshome is a story which I believe personally not only be told as a tv Episode but rather to be helped in any way possible for everything he has done and doing

This is a doctor who went extra mile to give his own blood to his patients when they patient family refuse to do so this is a doctor who is selfless gave all his time and energy for helping out the poor the neglected He has showed this is an ultimate sacrifice and generosity so to sum it up helping this extraordinary physician and to encourage him means simply helping the entire community

If you watched the video he mentioned adding 5 beds in the hospital can dramatically reduce the wait and minimize the waiting period of thousands of patients who required lifesaving surgeries

My goal is The fund collected will be delivered to him 100 Percent
Indeed most of us are touched by his amazing story also frustrated but this is to clarify to all of you that it has no ill intention rather it is out of simple intention to help the doctor and his cause …that is all

This shouldn’t be something to discourage us from doing the right thing ………

Finally I have sent a message to Dr Ayele Teshome to further discuss and sort out this I have provided him my contact to answer all his questions

Thank you”

Mr. Haikel Shukry claims, as seen in his “clarification message,” that he has contacted Dr. Ayele Teshome, in unspecified way and time.

If Mr. Haikel Shukry knows how to launch crowdfunding on GoFundMe, it is unimaginable to think that he does not know that he needs an authorization to launch a campaign on behalf of someone. The case seems to be highly suspicious.

It is unclear if GoFundMe has reported the matter to Seattle Police for an investigation.



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