A 37-year-old Scottsbluff man has been arrested after allegedly stealing more than $5,000 raised through a GoFundMe campaign to benefit the children of a local woman killed in a car crash.
Febronio “JR” Plasencio Jr. is charged with a Class 2A Felony of ‘Theft By Deception (More than $5,000)’ and was arrested on the warrant early Saturday morning.
Court documents say that Plasencio set up a GoFundMe in November to benefit the children of Holly Heath, who passed away following a car crash. Gering Police began investigating the account in February after a local business owner expressed concerns to investigators that the funds were not being given to the family.
Plasencio told the victim’s mother that all of the $5,875 the money was still in the account, and it would take up to a week for GoFundMe to issue a check from the campaign. Gering Police received documentation from GoFundMe, and showed Plasencio had set up a Wepay account with Gofundme to have the funds transferred to his personal Bancorp account.
The GoFundMe account was set up on November 22nd, and every day for the next three weeks withdraws were being made from that fund to Plasencio’s Bancorp account. Transactions from the Bancorp account were used for ATM withdraws, video game purchases, bars, restaurants, and shopping.
He also posted nearly a dozen updates on the campaign asking for continued donations, including:
- “We continue to ask for anything possible as we are now trying to help support her 3 young kids. Please continue sharing the love, the family is truly grateful.”
- “Continued love and support. Thank you all for everything you have contributed. Let’s help make sure her kids are being taken care of.”
- “We are now providing all money from this account to her three young kids for any expenses. It is being utilized for them and it is being compiled together and will be presented to the family at our next big benefit.”
Investigators say based on the records, it appears that all of the money that was donated to the GoFundMe to assist with the Holly Heath family has been depleted.
A warrant for Plasencio’s arrest was issued on April 30th, and records show he was booked into the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center on Saturday at 1:52 a.m..
Plasencio is also facing felony charges out of Morrill County after allegedly burglarizing a bar in Bridgeport and taking $4,302. A September pretrial hearing has been set for that case.
Holly Heath’s mother Shellie tells KNEB News that the family has not seen any of the money from Plasencio directly, but says that the GoFundMe Fraud Department has given the money to the children. after police issued the subpoena. She wanted to stress that the money that was donated did get to the family, but it didn’t come from J.R.
Plasencio contacted KNEB News Monday morning, claiming the situation was a misunderstanding: