Ex-gas station manager is trying to keep GoFundMe money for 'living expenses' since company that fired him over mistake doesn't want it

A row of fuel pumps from a fuel rail at a Shell service station.Vito Corleone/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
The gas station manager, who collected money to pay back his former employer, now wants to keep the money for "living expenses".
John Szczecina is trying to keep money from a GoFundMe after the owners of the Shell gas station he worked at refused to take it.
Szczecina was sacked last week after accidentally charging 69 cents a gallon for premium gasoline.
The fired California gas station manager, who raised money to repay his former employer over a blunder with discounted gas prices that cost him his job, is now trying to keep the donated money for "living expenses" as the company turned it down.
John Szczecina was fired from his job as a manager at a Shell gas station in Rancho Cordova, California, last week after accidentally charging 69 cents a gallon for premium gas instead of $6.99 - a mistake he later made public referred to as an "honest mistake".
The blunder caused the station to lose $20,000 in revenue after motorists flocked there to take advantage of the low cost amid record-high pump prices nationwide.
Szczecina's sister, Paula Jackson, started a GoFundMe to pay back the company that owns the station and raised more than $24,000, but the owners said they didn't want the money.
Now Szczecina wants to keep the money for herself, but those who originally donated to the cause can still request a refund from GoFundMe.
"We originally set up this GoFundMe with the intention of paying the gas company with any funds raised," Jackson said in an update posted to the GoFundMe page on Tuesday. "Unfortunately, we tried to pay them but they refused to pay and they don't want to accept the funds we raised."
"Nevertheless, this was a mistake, John was fired last week anyway and is doing his best to support his family," the update reads. "The funds will now be used to cover living expenses, bills and to support John and his family during this difficult time."
Jackson added, "Since this differs from the reason you originally donated, you can request a refund from GoFundMe."
Those seeking refunds must submit their requests by June 28, the update said.
"After that date, all remaining donations will be sent to John - and used to support his family during this unfortunate time," Jackson said.
GoFundMe told Insiders on Thursday that the fundraiser organizer has met its needs regarding the redirection of funds by posting a "clear update" on the page to "keep donors informed" that donations are now being made be used for another purpose.
"Because this is a change from the original purpose of the fundraiser, donors have an opportunity to request a refund," GoFundMe said.
New donations have been disabled on the GoFundMe page, which had $23,493 in funds as of Thursday — suggesting at least some donors have already received refunds.
Meanwhile, an employee at the Shell gas station from which Szczecina was fired declined to comment to Insiders on Thursday, instead referring questions to Shell's corporate headquarters.
A spokesman for Shell's US arm told Insider that the company had nothing to do with the operation of the independent station Szczecina was working on.
"Similar to other major oil companies, our US Shell fuel retail business and its licensees supply premium motor fuels primarily to independent wholesalers and dealers who operate under the Shell brand and sell Shell-branded fuels," the spokesman said.
The representative added: "While the name on the sign reflects the brand of fuel sold on site, the supermarket and day-to-day operations on site, including pricing, hiring and termination, are the responsibility of the wholesaler, site owner and/or - operators making their own operational decisions."
Read the original article on Insider

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