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March 28, 2017 04:59 PM

Woman Accused Of Stealing From GoFundMe Account Of Girl Killed In Crash

A Sioux Falls woman lost her young daughter and mother-in-law in a car crash, but she also lost a friend and her sense of trust.  Last fall, KELOLAND News reported on a car crash near Brookings.  Another driver hit the car Cynthia Mathis's mother-in-law was driving.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.  Cynthia's four-year-old daughter, Jasmine, died shortly after.  Cynthia thought a GoFundMe page would help.  Instead, she is now ready to face the person who set up the account in court. 

"She could light up a room just by walking into it," Cynthia said.

This memory is a comfort Cynthia has kept with her since her daughter Jasmine died.

"The day after the crash, they started to realize there was no brain activity," Cynthia said.

That is not all she was left with.  The bills for Jasmine and her mother-in-law's funerals piled up.  Cynthia says a woman named Stephanie Blaine set up a GoFundMe account to help with expenses. 

"We considered her as a friend," Cynthia said.

Cynthia says she never got the money from Blaine, and says Blaine would make excuses about why she could not give it to her.

"So, I contacted GoFundMe myself.  They sent me an email with withdrawals that were being taken directly from the account into her bank account," Mathis said. 

Blaine now faces a felony grand theft. According to court papers, Blaine withdrew nearly $3,600 from Jasmine's GoFundMe account.  

KELOLAND News wanted to hear Blaine's side of the story and traveled to her home address listed on the court papers.  A neighbor said she moved out in January.  However, Blaine later called KELOLAND News.  She denied an interview, and said, "I have nothing to say to you and I want nothing to do with you guys."

We checked her record, and Blaine has been in court before.  Past charges include theft and burglary.  

Meanwhile, GoFundMe shut down the account.  Cynthia says the company reimbursed her for most of the missing money, and says her story is a lesson to everyone to be careful about whom you trust with these accounts.

"Absolutely, because there are vultures everywhere," Cynthia said. 

Blaine is in court on Wednesday, and Cynthia hopes for a quick resolution.  She says her daughter is inspiring her to keep going. 

"Her memory will live on and she's an amazing little girl," Cynthia said. 
  • Crime
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  • Sioux Falls, SD
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