Sidney woman admits to taking GoFundMe funds from victim of a fire

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SIDNEY, Neb. - (KNEP) - A Sidney woman admits to misleading a victim of a December fire after the family doesn’t receive the GoFundMe funds raised on their behalf.

According to court records, back in December, Barbara Serkiz and her family lost their home due to a fire at the Sidney Park Apartments. Samantha Robertson created a GoFundMe page to raise money to help out Serkiz family.

Reports say Serkiz never received the funds and continued to ask Robertson when she would. Robertson admitted to delaying the payout by creating multiple lies including one in which the GoFundMe company had the wrong account number.

Robertson told police she closed the account on December 31st and received $1,618.94 in her personal bank account. Instead of paying Serkiz, she allegedly used it to pay rent and purchase clothes and food for her family. She told police she was behind on her rent and would have been evicted from her home. Robertson planned on eventually using the money from her tax return to pay Serkiz and hoped to hold her off until that came in.

Robertson went as far as telling Serkiz the company issued an email in February telling her the money would be released into her bank account in five to seven days. She was going to create a fake email that included this information to make it seem legit.

It wasn’t until Serkiz threatened to file a fraud report that Robertson confessed to her in messages. Sidney Police stated Serkiz has since gotten her money but also spoke to Robertson’s landlord who stated she was not behind on rent or was potentially going to get evicted and only owed the remaining balance on her security deposit.

Robertson is facing a misdemeanor charge of unlawful taking.