Nashua woman accused of robbing GoFundMe account
NASHUA – The 27-year-old Nashua woman who last year set up a GoFundMe account for a grieving family, then allegedly stole the roughly $5,000 in donations, told police she took the money to pay medical and other bills after her husband lost his job, according to a police report.
Krystal Gentley, of 9 Eighth St., Nashua, told a Nashua detective that she planned to "slowly pay back the money once her husband found another job," the report states.
Gentley said the fact her husband lost his job "just before Christmas" left her in need of money to cover medical expenses related to her gastric bypass surgery, as well as to pay other bills and to purchase Christmas presents, the detective’s report states.
Gentley, who is due back in court in mid-June, set up The Tabitha L. Fauteux
Memorial Fund for the family of the former Hudson woman, who was 26 when she died in November of an overdose after a long struggle with addiction.
Detectives arrested Gentley on April 1. She was later arraigned on one count of theft by deception, a Class A felony, and was released on $5,000 cash or surety bail.
She is scheduled to appear in Nashua district court at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14, for a probable cause hearing.
Sheila Fauteux said her daughter and Gentley were longtime friends who once shared an apartment, and that she and her family were shocked when they learned that Gentley had been arrested and charged with stealing the money.
Police accuse Gentley of "knowingly obtaining" $4,921 from the account, but Sheila Fauteux and GoFundMe personnel estimated it came to roughly $5,300 in all.
Regardless of the exact amount, Sheila Fauteux said earlier that she gets "very sick to my stomach" as she struggles to come to terms with Gentley’s alleged involvement.
"I was just shocked, very shocked, at what Krystal did. I never, ever thought she’d do something like that," Fauteux said after learning of Gentley’s arrest in April.
The series of events that led to Gentley’s arrest began around Thanksgiving, when Sheila Fauteux asked Gentley to close the GoFundMe account so the family could put the money toward her daughter’s funeral expenses, according to police reports.
Gentley allegedly told Fauteux she would bring the money to Tabitha Fauteux’s memorial service, but Gentley "never arrived at the service," the police report states. Fauteux’s subsequent attempts to reach Gentley were unsuccessful, until Gentley contacted her "about two weeks before Christmas" saying she’d arranged to have GoFundMe issue a check for the money and mail it to Fauteux, according to the report.
When no check came, Fauteux contacted GoFundMe. "They told me (the account) was closed. I said, ‘Are you sure?’ They said yes … that it had been closed by a person named Krystal Gentley," Fauteux said in April, adding that she then called police.
Gentley, according to investigators, made three withdrawals from the account over the course of the week. The first was for $2,880; the second, for about $92 and the third for roughly $1,950.
Gentley admitted to "avoiding Sheila," police stated, as she told them of her intention to replace the money once her husband found work.
The felony with which Gentley is charged is punishable by up to 15 years in state prison, exclusive of fines, police said.
Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_DeanS.