Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pepe was a fake....



About a month ago, I, like so many others, was pulled into the story of Pepe, a young woman with CF waiting for her double lung transplant. I discovered her blog via another CF blog, run by a respectable guy who obviously didn't know he was being duped.

The original purpose of the blog was for friends and CF supporters to get together and send Pepe/Gina a Wii while she was in the hospital via a PayPal account. Her supporters raised almost $600 in December of '07 alone. As the blog progressed, Pepe/Gina's condition deteriorated. At this point, hundreds, if not thousands, of people were praying and commenting on the "Friends of Pepe" blog, only to find out she doesn't exist.

Or, rather, she DOES exist, but as a troll.

Once exposed, the authors took the site down, and readers were left feeling cheated in so many ways.

Not anymore. Consider this the first of many trolls to be publicly exposed and scorned for their actions.

After some digging, here's what we know:

Pepe's real name was Gina, which we knew from the blog. She's friends with Paul, from this site/blog (which is now down).

Paul has a Flickr account, which includes this picture:


The same picture that shows up under a commenter's mentioned troll name, jedisdream.

Jedisdream has a photo album here:
http://public.fotki.com/jedisdream/

and YouTube videos here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/jedisdream

Of course, we expect both of these to come down ASAP, so here's some more information about the Gina/jedisdream behind Pepe.

She's 25, from Minnesota, and rides a horse named Gracie. She has a second horse named Chipotle. Both were mentioned several times on the "Friends of Pepe" blog.


Gracie and Gina have ridden at Dillman Training Center and Trott Brook Farms, and Gina posts under "chipngrace" on http://www.midwesthorsetalk.com/.

You can also find Gina here:
http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/member.php?u=87709


The photo above is of "Gracie", and was on her fotki page, as well as on the message boards.

Her name is not Pepe. Gina does not have CF, nor has she had a double lung transplant. She has, however, stolen money, and misrepresented herself to thousands of people. Gina has an accomplice in Paul, in some form or other. And she has misrepresented herself as the young woman above, and third from the left (who is believed to be a friend and completely unaware):



The woman below is the real Pepe/Gina, and her name is Gina Marie Fiorentino of Saint Michael, Minnesota. She has been publicly identified as a troll.


12 comments:

carieelena said...

it's really sad someone would do this. as you said, all the sites, including the youtube account, have been locked, closed or removed. Wiping away evidence I guess. More than just a crime against people's sympathies, this is a fraud/crime that is prosecutable, considering the false premises under which all the money was solicited. If all this is indeed true, this person should be reported. Interestingly, I noticed on the horse forum that this "gina" is a bankteller as their occupation. Scary.

Karen said...

Can you believe this??? Even more than this outright treachery, I can't believe I was so dumb! Thinking back, with perfect hindsight vision, I remember wondering if those "doctors" were miracle workers sometimes, or if they were just absolutely cruel by letting her suffer. It kind of didn't sound right then, but what do I know about lung transplants! I feel bad for everyone who really invested caring and energy into this and was rewarded with such nastiness. We are all thinking of some frail sick person--but the person on the horse, the real Gina, is a bit of a porker (poor horse).

I agree with you about prosecution. Anyone else who contributed money to her for the Wii via Paypal, let's gather the evidence and push forward with a criminal investigation. We know who and where she is now.

I really didn't think I could be shocked any more, but I was.

carieelena said...

It is a prosecutable crime...I worked for several years in a prosecutor's office, and we had two separate cases of people seeking donations for false illnesses. I really want to believe none of this is true, but, once people starting seeing the evidence, the evidence quickly got locked down. If "Pepe" did exist, and the other "Gina" was not the same person, just coincidentally someone from the same state, with same name, and same name of horse (a HUGE coincidence), then why did that other "Gina", within minutes, shut down all her photo sites, video sites, etc.? She had to have known what was being said, which does further lead me to believe they were the same person. Aarrghh!!! What a terrible thing to do to people!

Lauri said...

So glad I found this...I too was sucked in and feel like a fool. It seemed like a pretty extreme case, and I was a little suspicious but always try to assume the best in people. I had donated a little money (not enough to gripe about) but have put in a dispute with paypal anyway. Oh well, live and learn...there are bad people in this world.

Anonymous said...

Is this her?
http://www.ultimatedressage.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=138192

She's on UDBB, too.
She also has been on as Jedi's Dream or something.
The photo of the fat girl on the pinto looks familiar.

Is that her?

Anonymous said...

Thanks to your detective work, I also found this on the chronicle forums--remember how Pepe was also called "peanut"
what a sick bitch

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=3112665&highlight=chipngrace#post3112665

My name is Chipngrace,

-I have long-winded, one-sided (mostly) conversations with my horses.
-I covet all that is purple
-I also call my gelding Baby Horse and my mare sometimes Lil Peanut
-I love getting ready for a show, but hate putting things away when the show is over
__________________

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What about the FOP blog archives? Almost every single one is cached- maybe more info there? After seeing the "real" photo of Gina, man I feel bad for that poor horse's back!

Anonymous said...

well, I did think that Blake was having a lot of bad luck with horses
-a while ago someone posted a link about internet Munchausen - and it seems these horses were internet Menchausen by proxy -
Laura

Becky said...

Paul's page says HE had a double lung transplant! Who is who and who had what? This story is so full of lies, no one knows the truth!

eileen said...

She has a new YouTube account:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfhGu0jZv-k&feature=user

eileen said...

She has a new YouTube account:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfhGu0jZv-k&feature=user