NJ couple and homeless vet deserve an Oscar (Opinion)
When I first heard about the story of a sweet young New Jersey woman trying to help a homeless vet, something didn't seem right. I didn't immediately suspect a collaborative fraud between her, her boyfriend and the homeless guy, but the story just bothered me. She allegedly ran out of gas last winter on I-95 in Philly and this homeless stranger comes along and gives her his last 20 bucks. Then when it seemed like something was amiss in early September and everyone wanted to stone this couple, it just seemed to easy to condemn them. The facts weren't all in, but the "mob" wants blood in our age of virtue signaling and righteous indignation from our couch.
When we brought it up on the air, a listener called and gave us the first inkling that the three of them made the whole thing up. He pointed out that a homeless guy, in the throws of addiction, would not give his last 20 bucks to anyone, not even his mother. But would people really conspire to make up this story that tugs at people's hearts to make them donate their hard earned money? Sure. This is the same scam that many "homeless" street people pull on people every day. You don't know their story. Some of them walk back home or to a car and count your money.
What this trio did was just the 2018 high-tech, internet version of what suckers give into on the street every single day. Sure, they committed fraud, but so do many of the panhandlers on city streets every day. I think those people who gave to the GoFundMe account deserve to be separated from their money. But the money should go to a veterans organization and real people who help real homeless people get back on their feet.
As far as these three clowns, don't send them to jail. Why spend any money housing them? Order them to community service for the homeless and veterans for several years. This way their actually giving real time and effort to a cause internet saps thought they were helping. The saps learn a valuable lesson and the trifling trickster trio get to actually do something good, finally.
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