In an effort to solicit money, a man has admitted to lying about having colon cancer.
Rob Mercer required money in order to enter the World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas.
So, in an effort to acquire the money he need, Mercer made up a cancer diagnosis in order to set up a GoFundMe page and use the proceeds to fly to Las Vegas.
This year’s tournament took place from May 30 to July 18.
Mercer, who is from Vallejo, California, lied and claimed to have stage 4 colon cancer in order to defraud generous donors out of thousands of dollars.
He needed $10,000 to participate in the No-limit Hold’em World Championship buy-in, but raised between $30,000 and $50,000, including a night in a suite at the Bellagio, a five-star hotel.
“I did exaggerate my colon cancer diagnosis. I’m free of colon cancer. I utilised that to disguise my predicament, Mercer admitted to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“I did the wrong thing. I ought not to have disclosed that I have colon cancer. When someone asked me what type of cancer I had, I basically made the decision on the spot.
“I apologise for not being upfront about my circumstances. Who knows what would have happened if I had done that right away.
In light of his falsehoods, Mercer has been contacted by someone at GoFundMe for violating its terms of service.
But does the 37-year-old have any plans to personally return people’s money? Nope.
Mercer shared that he won’t be paying back the money to his donators as he still believes that he’s sick, but with undiagnosed breast cancer rather than stage 4 colon cancer.
GoFundMe has since confirmed that people will be getting refunds, however.
A spokesperson told the newspaper: “GoFundMe has zero tolerance for the misuse of our platform and takes swift action against those who exploit the generosity of our community.
“We have removed this fundraiser for violating our terms of service, all donors have been fully refunded, and Rob Mercer has been banned from using the platform for any future fundraisers. Additionally, GoFundMe cooperates with law enforcement investigations of those formally accused of wrongdoing.”
Apparently Mercer didn’t get very far in the highly anticipated poker tournament, as he was eliminated within a few hours.
In hindsight, it was probably a good thing he didn’t get very far, as I don’t think the people who donated towards his fund would be been best pleased if he’d walked away with millions.