After a controversial move by GoFundMe to freeze the $184,000 raised in crowdfunding donations to 19-year-old college student Fred Barley, the company has finally released the funds.
Barley’s inspirational story of riding more than 50 miles on a bike and sleeping in a tent to register for college classes, spread fast across the nation and inspired people to donate.
But the story’s happy ending quickly turned when the Barley got into a dispute with the woman who set up the donation page, Casey Blaney.
The teen says the impasse started once he hired his own attorney and trustee to oversee the donations. Blaney has disputed that claim, saying that it was a neutral third-party who questioned aspects of the teen’s story and as the page organizer she was obligated to address it.
Blaney reported the concerns to GoFundMe and they froze his account as a result.
More than 16,000 signatures were collected on a Change.org petition urging the teen’s funds be released.
In a new Facebook post, Barley stated that there was finally an agreement reached between both of their attorneys.
“My attorney Christopher Chapman has got in contact with Wright Gammon, Mrs. Blaney’s attorney, and has come to terms so both parties are happy,” Barley wrote. “I will be allowed to put it into a trust that covers both living expenses and help with my tuition.”
The teen also said that Casey Blaney turned all power over to her lawyer and would no longer be involved with the trust account.
Supporters on both sides celebrated the agreement on social media and encouraged Barley to move forward and focus on the most important thing: his education.
See the teen’s message below.