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Woman Lies About Cancer Diagnosis, Charged With Theft After Creating GoFundMe For Bills

A joint investigation between the Alabama Attorney General's Office and the FBI has come to a close.

A joint investigation between the Alabama Attorney General's Office and the FBI has come to a close. According to the AJC, a 37-year-old woman lied to her family about being a terminal cancer patient and pillaged money from them and others through two GoFundMe accounts -- which amounted to $38,000 -- to assist with her medical bills.

Authorities charged Jennifer Flynn Cataldo with "two counts of first-degree theft by deception" the site reports. The inquiry began April 13 after Cataldo's father reached out to investigative reporter Josh Moon to figure out why his daughter's $17 million legal settlement was slow to become tangible. The settlement was allegedly a result of political corruption at the hands of then-Gov. Robert Bentley and then-Attorney General Luther Strange. But a further probe determined that was also a lie.

In a published recollection, Moon stated that after interviewing Cataldo's attorney and family friend on the alleged lawsuit settlement, the lawyer was completely unaware of their client's scheme. Moon wrote that Cataldo "fooled an entire community, along with her parents and closest friends, into believing she was stricken with terminal cancer" for almost seven years and that she was a recipient of that $17 million lawsuit.

During a previous phone interview with Cataldo, Moon said that she also told him how she was diagnosed with cancer. “Dirty instruments were used to perform a biopsy on me and from that I contracted sepsis in my blood,” Cataldo said. “The sepsis later turned into Cancer. Now, I have three tumors in my brain and 12 tumors in my abdomen. I lost a kidney and the other, the doctor said, is filled with Cancer. I’m on dialysis.”

"I can't understand why she would've done it," Robert Flynn, Cataldo's father, said. "I just don't know what would drive someone to do something like that. And I don't know how she could keep us fooled for so long." Flynn said he and his wife have shelled out nearly half-a-million dollars to keep up with their daughter's medical bills.

Cataldo is currently being held on a $100,000 bond at Shelby County Jail.

UPDATE:

GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne issued a statement to VIBE reassuring their users that they're protected in cases such as Jennifer Flynn Cataldo's and will receive their money back.

“First, our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back. Additionally, it’s important to remember that misuse is extremely rare on our platform. Campaigns with misuse make up less than one tenth of one percent of all campaigns. With that said, there are unfortunate and rare instances where people create campaigns with the intention to take advantage of others’ generosity. In the small handful of cases where misuse occurs, GoFundMe takes action to resolve the issue. The user has been banned, and we are working with law enforcement officials to make sure donors get their money back.”

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‘Red Table Talk’ Inks 3-Year Deal With Facebook Watch

The Emmy-nominated Red Table Talk, hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow Smith and mother, Adrienne Banfield Norris, has inked a three-year deal with Facebook Watch that extends through 2022.

In addition to a new contract, Westbrook Studios (owned by Pinkett Smith and Will Smith) is expanding the Red Table Talk brand with a spinoff series starring Gloria Estefan.

Red Table Talk: The Estefans, will be produced by Pinkett-Smith, Westbrook Studios and Estefan, with Ellen Rakieten and Miguel Melendez serving as executive producers. The series features the music icon along with her daughter and rising musician, Emily Estefan, and her niece Emmy winner, Lili Estefan. The new show will be based in Miami, where Estefan lives, and will showcase three generations of women having candid conversations about timely topics, social and personal issues with family, in addition to celebrity guests and experts.

“I’m incredibly proud of ‘Red Table Talk,’ and thrilled to build upon this franchise with my family and with Gloria, Emily and Lili,” Pinkett Smith said in a statement. “‘Red Table Talk’ has created a space to have open, honest and healing conversations around social and topical issues, and what’s most powerful for me is hearing people’s stories and engaging with our fans in such a tangible way on the Facebook Watch platform.  I’m excited to see the Estefans put their spin on the franchise and take it to new places.”

Estefan added that she’s “incredibly excited” to carry on the “'Red Table Talk' torch” with her family.

“Jada and I have spoken about this a lot and feel my daughter, niece and I can tackle issues important to us and our fans with a new and fresh voice,” said Estefan. “Jada has done this incredibly and continues to do with her family in their candid, intimate, and groundbreaking conversations at the iconic Red Table.”

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Da Baby, Megan Thee Stallion And Roddy Ricch To Headline 2020 Broccoli City Festival

Broccoli City Fest is returning with a packed lineup. Da Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Rich and more, are billed to hit the stage as headliners of the annual DMV music festival.

Additional performers include, hometown artist, Ari Lennox, as well as Burna Boy, Doja Cat, Selection, IDK, Lucky Daye, and surprise performances, according to the lineup announced on Wednesday (Jan. 22).

BC Fest 2020 promises to be the “best one yet,” per a statement on the festival website. Besides music, the festival will feature a carnival, an interactive art space where patrons can take selfies, pop-up venders, VIP lounges, a curated cannabis experience (for the 21+ an older), a DJ tent and “more food and beverage options.”

Although pre-sale tickets sold out within hours of the lineup announcement. early bird passes were still available at press time.

Broccoli City Fest 2020 takes place in Washington D.C. on May 9. Check out the full lineup below.

 

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A post shared by Broccoli City (@broccolicity) on Jan 22, 2020 at 7:00am PST

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Cook County Medical Examiner Reveals Juice WRLD’s Cause Of Death

Juice WRLD’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. The “Lucid Dreams” rapper, whose birth name was Jarad A. Higgins, died from oxycodone and codeine toxicity, the Cook County’s Medical Examiner’s Office revealed on Wednesday (Jan. 22).

The 21-year-old recording artist suffered a seizure at a private hanger at Chicago Midway airport after his plane landed on Dec. 8, 2019. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill.

Federal authorities reportedly confiscated 70 pounds of marijuana found in luggage on the private plane that flew Juice WRLD and his entourage from Los Angeles to California. Authorities are unlikely to file criminal charges because no one claimed ownership of the weed.

Juice WRLD was candid about his battle with addiction and vowed to kick his codeine addiction last summer. “Addiction kills but you can overcome,” he tweeted in July 2019.

In an emotional statement released a few days after his death, Juice WRLD’s mother addressed her son's struggle with substance abuse. “Addiction knows no boundaries and it’s impact goes way beyond the person fighting it,” she said. “Jarod was a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction.”

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