You try to do something nice for somebody and it completely blows up in your face. With how all this shit went down, I was pretty content just to handle things through the appropriate channels, i.e. GofundMe and Charles’ bank, rather than engaging a bunch of people running their mouths on social media post who actually have no idea what’s really going on here.
So, let’s take it back to the beginning. Back in late October when Charles broke his leg, I set up a GoFundMe for him. After getting the boot from the hospital Charles need a ride from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Someone (no need to mention his name and drag him into this) kindly agreed to drive Charles and his truck down to NC. Charles mentioned to me that he wanted to give this person some money for driving him down. Though we had already started the GoFundMe, the funds weren’t available yet and Charles didn’t have any money of his own. In hindsight it was probably pretty naive, but I offered to send the dude money and Charles and I would just settle up on it once the GoFundMe was all wrapped up. Charles decided on an amount of $100 and I sent it to the dude via MoneyGram. You’ll find a grab of the transaction below.
Moving on, as the GoFundMe was running I asked Charles how he wanted me to get the money to him. He said something along the lines of maybe Paypal, but not to worry about it right now because he was good on money (presumably from the three jams that were held for him) and he was still negotiating with the hospital to get his bills reduced. Now here’s where I made a big mistake. Since Charles hadn’t provided me with any bank account information at the time and had said that Paypal would be the best way to get the money to him, I went ahead and linked the CYDI bank account to GoFundMe so that it could be sent via Paypal when he was ready.
Fast forward to the end of the year, donations had come to a standstill and Charles and I discussed that it was maybe time to wind down the campaign. To quote Charles, the campaign had become “white noise.” So we decided to let it run for a few more weeks and then shut it down. That brings us to late January and Charles and I catch up via a phone call. During that conversation he stated that bills were starting to come in and we discussed what the best way to get the money to him would be. Whereas he had previously suggested Paypal, this time he said that he had a Bank of America account and I could put it directly in there. Seeing as there are plenty of Bank of America branches around here, that seemed easy enough for both of us. Either that day or the day after I hit up a Bank of America, grabbed $500 out of the ATM (the CYDI account is with another bank and that was the most I could withdraw from the ATM), took the $500 into the branch and provided the bank teller with the account number Charles provided and had them deposit it into his account. The teller both confirmed that the name on the account was Charles Ginther and that the money was immediately in the account and available to him.
A few days later Charles shot me a text asking if I had started depositing money in his account yet. I responded and told him that I had a few days ago and would deposit the rest in the next few days once I had the chance to run by my bank to grab it out so I could take it to his bank and deposit in. In hindsight maybe it should have been a red flag that he didn’t notice that the first $500 had been deposited and in his account for days. At this point that’s neither here nor there. Anyway that week was crazy with work for me and I wasn’t able to get out of work in time to get to the bank before it close. Charles shot me a text reminding me, to which I apologized and explained that work had been crazy and I hadn’t been able to get off in time to make it to the bank, but that I would definitely get it done the next day. The following day I went to my bank and got out $2000, took it to Charles’ bank and had the teller deposit it into the same account Charles had provided. Once again the teller confirmed the name on the account was Charles Ginter and that the funds were immediately available to him. That was February 9th and Charles had a total of $2500 deposited directly into his Bank of America account.
At this point I still needed to look back and see what the actual gross total the GoFundme brought in after their fees of 7.8% plus .30 cents per donation, and minus the money that I had sent to the guy who drove Charles from PA to NC. I roughly estimated that it would be around $200, but would sort it out after I got back from Colorado. At this point Charles had the bulk of his money, and seeing as things were still copasetic between us, I didn’t think there would be any issue figuring that out and getting to him after my trip.
So that brings us to when shit hit the fan. I was about halfway through my trip to Colorado when a few of my friends sent me messages saying that Charles was on Instagram saying that he hadn’t gotten paid. I didn’t have cell service where we were staying so I immediately hopped on FB messenger and hit him up to see just what was going on. This is when he claimed to me that he hadn’t received the $2000 that had been deposited a couple weeks before. I assured him that it had indeed been deposited to which he asked if I had the deposit receipt. I let him know that I did, but it was back home and I was going to be in Colorado for a few more days. I told him I’d be home late Saturday and would be at the bank first thing the following Monday to try to figure out just what the hell was going on. He didn’t like that answer and demanded that I do something right away. I told him there was absolutely nothing I could do being as I was in the middle of Colorado and didn’t have the deposit receipt with me. That being that, I went along with my trip.
On Saturday morning while waiting at the airport for my flight Derek from Little Devil tagged me in an Instagram post he had made claiming that I had stolen Charles’ money. I noticed that he had sent me an Instagram message and I responded to it and told him the same thing I had told Charles, a total of $2,500 had been directly put into Charles’ account and that if for some reason there was some bank problem with the 2k that had been deposited, I would be at the bank first thing on Monday morning to figure out what was up. In my head though, I was trying to figure out how there could possibly be any kind of problem. Did the teller make a mistake and put the money into the wrong account? Seeing as both times I deposited money into his account, the teller confirmed the account the money was deposited into belonged to Charles.
Derek explained that his only concern was getting Charles paid and that I needed to do something right then and there. Once again I told him that there was nothing I could do at the time but would handle it as soon as I got back, to which he told me that his Instagram post would stay up until I did something. At that time I still cared about CYDI and what people thought so I offered to Paypal Charles 2k until I got things figured out at Charles’ bank on Monday. He agreed that would be fine, so I sent the money via Paypal and he took the post down.
Come Monday morning and I’m at the Bank of America branch where I made the 2k deposit that Charles apparently didn’t receive. They immediately verified that not only had the 2k been deposited into Charles’ account, that it had been IMMEDIATELY available to Charles. So at this point I’m left scratching my head as to just what’s going on here. Dude has his money, has had his money and now I’ve sent him another 2k via Paypal. I immediately logged into my Paypal account to dispute the transaction but found that the transaction was still pending and I wouldn’t be able to dispute it until after it went through. Thinking quick I decided to transfer the money out of the CYDI account before Paypal deducted it. In this situation I’d much rather take the $36 NSF charge as opposed to possibly losing 2k. When I got home from work that evening I sent an email to GoFundMe alerting them of the situation. Their Trust and Safety team quickly got back to me and requested I submit of all the relevant Bank of America deposit info and MoneyGram info showing the payment to the guy who drove Charles to NC. They’ve also been working with Charles to get his side of the story. As requested I submitted the bank and MoneyGram information and asked how they suggest I go about getting the remaining money owed to Charles to him. Seeing as he’s claimed that he never received a deposit that was made directly into his bank account, I was uncomfortable going that same route to get the remaining $192.54 balance to him.
Backing up for a second to explain that $192.54. After fees the GoFundMe for Charles raised a gross total of $2805.53. Subtracting the $100 dollars Charles had me send to the guy who drove him to NC and the $12.99 MoneyGram fee brings that down to $2692.54. That minus the $2500 deposited into Charles’ account leaves a balance of $192.54. Today GoFundMe’s Trust and Safety Team emailed me with the recommendation that the best way to go about distributing that money to Charles is to use a service like MoneyGram so that not only is there a record of the payment being made, there will be a record of him physically picking up the payment.
So that’s where we’re at with things. I’ll go to a MoneyGram, send the remaining $192.54 and wash my hands of the whole situation. If Charles wants to keep putting on an Instagram show claiming he didn’t get the money, that’s on him, and it’s on you if you want to buy into it. Like I said, GoFundMe’s Trust and Safety team are in contact with him and at some point he’s going to have to produce some bank evidence showing that he didn’t receive that 2k deposit.
Now why did it take me so long to put out a statement about this? Sometimes you have to play chess when everyone else is trying to play Hungry Hungry Hippos. First off, seeing as judgements had already had been made by the time I even knew what was going on, my main priority was handling things through the appropriate channels (GoFundMe and Charles’ bank) rather than engaging in a comment war with someone obviously perpetuating a lie and the uninformed people who bought into it. Also, to be perfectly honest, that Saturday when I saw Derek’s post and the comments on both it and some of the recent post I had made on CYDI’s Instagram, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as me caring about CYDI anymore. For the past nearly six years I’ve invested both my time and money into doing something I felt was needed and valuable to the trails scene. Even as my motivation has waned, I continued to feel an obligation to the scene to keep CYDI going. Things can get funny with people when you’re dealing with money, but I was pretty shocked to see so many people not only automatically assume the worst of me, but to publicly talk shit about me without even bothering to get my side of the story. A lot of those same people have both my phone number and email, but did they bother to use either before jumping into a shit talking comment fest? Nope! As a matter of fact, the only people who did reach out to me have been some of my long time friends to say that they don’t know what’s going on but they support and have my back on this because they know I wouldn’t take money from anyone.
I have a pretty spotless reputation for helping out and having nothing but the best intentions. Throughout the almost six year life of CYDI I’ve done everything I could to try and promote and keep the trail scene unified. From running the site, to promoting and donating to events, jams and causes, to hooking up people I thought were kicking ass in the scene, all the way to buying frames for people who needed them and rounding up and donating parts to people who had their bikes stolen. I guess you can say that this whole thing has been a pretty big slap in the face.
Now whereas I could say some disparaging things about Charles, I’m going to be the bigger person and leave the name calling/mud slinging to him, Derek and whoever else chooses to join in on it. I’m sure Charles will have a PT Barnnum-esque Instagram story following this post for your entertainment. I will say that I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out his angle here. Continuing to post on social media and tell people that he didn’t get paid, and even more confusing, telling GoFundMe the same thing while knowing that it would be pretty easy for them to verify that he had. I do have a theory as to why, but I’ll keep it to myself and just let things play out. The facts of the matter are this. Aside from this last $192.54 that I’m going to MoneyGram to him later on after I finish up this post, dude got paid and has been paid. I’ll throw the screenshots of the deposit transactions below if you have any question as to that. If anyone has other questions or concerns, by all means reach out and shoot me an email ([email protected]). Hell, if you want to talk about it over the phone, send me your number and I’ll be happy to chat about it. As per GoFundMe’s request, I’m going to send him this last bit of money via a way that documents that he physically accepted it, and then I’m done with the situation. As for CYDI, that’s that. Will it be a forever thing, I don’t know, but for now I’m over it. There’s a handful of people still waiting for some stuff they ordered from the store. If you’re one of those people, I apologize for the delay. Dealing with this whole situation took precedence and ate up any bandwidth I had to get other shit handled. All remaining orders will go out in the next day or so, and the site/store will remain up for a while at least.
Anyway, I got to give a huge thanks to everyone who supported the site over the past years, and an even bigger thanks to my friends who reached out and had my back in this shit. For the most part it’s been a blast, but for now I bid adieu. -Jon