Sunday, August 17, 2008

An Update

We have not received another email from Paul. We are giving him an opportunity to address you himself.

We have yet to locate the Wii.

We have the contact information for the Pepsi representative, but it's a weekend, so we don't expect to talk to them until Monday.

We have been contacted by a local news channel, but are debating waiting to talk to them until after we talk to officials.

Evidence has not surfaced that Gina and Paul knew each other in real life.

We turned anonymous comments off after a flurry of unrelated comments came in bashing another blog. Please stick to the topic at hand.

If there is anything/anyone who would like to contribute anything to our growing file, please let us know. If you would rather not share with us, and want to give it directly to officials, email us, and we'll give them your contact information.

And with that, you have the most boring post in the history of blogs. We'll update again tomorrow, but tonight it's bed time.


April said...

can you tell us the name of the person contacting the authorities? I have a hard time believing the FBI is going to get involved in this. really. I think this blog is a CYA technique for Paul or whomever masterminded the whole scam. FUnny how all relavant info in comments is 99% anonymous..hmmm. makes one wonder now. Cause if DWT says they are calling the authorities it must be true, huh? Do you think the FBI is fgoing to take a blog with such a name real serious now with lots of internet dramaz???? let's get real folks. WE are feeding the TROLLS!

DownWiththeTrolls said...

You're right. They might not care. It's a small amount of money, right? So we should just let it go. Let the people behind Friends of Pepe just walk away. And not attempt to set a precedent for future trolls.

You know what they say about somebody, anybody, nobody, right?

It may be futile but we think it's worth our time to at least give them the information we have. We feel the readers of FOP deserve it, as do those who donated money.

We're choosing to be the somebody who does something about this.

And again, if you're so worried we haven't contacted the authorities, contact them yourself. The Cyber Crime department of the Chicago FBI bureau.

If you're so worried they won't do anything, then, again, contact them. Maybe if they have an influx of calls like we have had of readers, they'll do something. They will be much less likely to ignore thousands of phone calls and emails, right?

Even for a measly amount of money.

Quit trolling the site, April. You're getting on our nerves.

C.J. said...

It's about the money!!! What was it -- something like 275,000 people hit Pepe's site. Forget a Wii. There could be a million bucks there. The apologizing is coming fast and furious as these people try to keep themselves out of jail.

I don't know how Paul and Gina know each other, but it's so obvious that they do. So he's nice. John Edwards was nice.

People want to know what Paul's motive would be? MONEY! He had a transplant. He probably has ridiculously high medical bills and had an opportunity to get in on the action. Desperate people do desperate things. Lots of criminals have a nice personality.
Two women married the Menendez brothers.

Another point -- those blogs sounded like they were written by a novelist. Oh, that's right. Paul was a writer.

And for those of you who think Gina gave him the info (even while she was unconscious?!) no one could take that kind of info off the internet day after day for a year and keep creating all these horrible transplant gone wrong scenarios unless you've lived it. Paul had a transplant and would've known all the ways you could get sick. Unless Gina suddenly got a medical degree.

And finally, if Paul were so innocent, how come on Aug 14th, he wrote: "Frankly these people sicken me, not least because they succeeded in undermining a story that gratified many readers."

So that's how he justified it to himself. He though his stories were gratifying people.

He also was outraged that people were saying there were inconsistancies. Even his staunch defenders stated that there were inconsistancies! If he were innocent, he would notice them, then defend them. He's too smart not to see them.

The only reason I'm coming down harder on him is because the good people who are defending him are still be being scammed by him. Gina is already exposed.

What they did was disgusting. They should be punished and hopefully no one was permanently damaged by being scared off of having a transplant. Besides the fact that their actions tore people apart for no damn reason

Liz said...

I have to say I agree with DWT and Cj...... they need to be punish for their crimes.... and Paul is NOT completely innocent here... like Cj said he has gone thru this he KNOWS what happens and what could happen... Gina isn't in this alone... to much to keep up with... not possible for one person... say what you want he is just as guilty because he should have SEEN the lies and he USED them to his advantage... you can't say he didn't... sorry don't buy it... and April if you don't believe anything being said why keep coming back?? could you be addicted to this drama???? did you personally know either one of these people??? Because I know Gina talked to her for 2 years almost... and trust me SHE'S GOOD AT LYING..... do you know she told me she did ALL OF THIS for PAUL... because she is SOOOOOOOO in love with him????????? come on stay away from the site if you don't think this is anything but BS

ygtbkm said...

c.j. @ 1:59

"something like 275,000 people hit Pepe's site."

Nah. A couple thousand people is more like it. :)

Site Meter tracks page views and visits, NOT unique visitors.

(Site Meter defines a "visit" as a series of page views by one person with no more than 30 minutes in between page views.)

ygtbkm said...

Most people who pretend to be ill are not ill. They do it for the money/ attention/ thrill/ power... just because they can.

Yes, it's possible they are mentally ill (how convenient). Or lonely. Or just plain evil.

I doubt a CFer like Paul (Q/clamshellmuni) who's been so sick and had a double lung transplant would have the time or inclination to set up multiple IDs (Q/ Pepe/ Blake/ chipngrace/ etc.) to chat and post in forums and upload photos to various sites and so on.

It's a lot of work just to keep track of the "characters," you know?

I'd like to believe that Paul was duped just like the rest of us.

It's just that, if Paul had nothing to hide, why did he take down his own blog ( on 8/14/08? Why did he delete photos from his flickr account?

Anonymous said...


Why not come out with all the info you have? You are just dribbling out bits and pieces. Such as little details about your relative or the few details you reveal slowly about contacting the FBI.
What about the news agency...tell us who you were in contact with and when. Also, who in the FBI were you in contact with. Also, what is the name of the Pepsi person? How did they manage to get a package to "Gina"? And who is the "we" of DWT? Are you friends, relatives etc? Or are you Paul?
This could all be laid out and figured out if there were more details. Who did you notify about this scam. Give us a name...I'll follow up.

ygtbkm said...

Also, someone said that he had been to chat with both Pepe and Q in the rooms, so they are different people...

That doesn't prove anything. :)

You can do it too if you have 2 computers. Sign in as Pepe on your desktop, as Q on your laptop.

Be sure to use proxy for one of the computers - so Pepe and Q have DIFFERENT IPs.

No one would know, not even the site admin!

Kim said...

I personally know Paul, have spent time with him face to face, and have seen him have a phone conversation with "gina". I have also had a phone conversation with her while he was undergoing his transplant. I can assure you they are NOT the same person. He was an innocent pawn in an elaborate scheme set up by this woman. Do things look fishy in hindsight? You bet, but at the time she had everyone fooled. Its not difficult to look up medical information, including labs, tests and procedures on the internet. She had been portraying this persona for years and was incredibly skilled. While "gina" was undergoing procedures and was vented "blake" communicated with Paul and gave him the information about her status. Hope this clears up a bit of the doubt in people's minds. I realise people will believe what they want, some of you are out for a witch hunt here, but I wanted to clear up the question whether Paul=gina=blake once and for all.

Hsfarm1 said...

This whole thing looks like someone has a vendetta for Gina - at this point it should be taken down. I believe this started out as an attempt to slander Gina - it looked like a personal vandetta, now that the tides have turned and people have started doubting this is all Gina - we get a letter from Paul - then we get a letter form Gina. All of these, including this blog have been VERY well written, I know Gina, be it on a horse related basis and have only met on a couple of rides, she is very quiet and I think the style of writing and knowledge of the disease is way beyond her. IF she has any responsibility for any of this or had knowledge of this and let it happen - she needs help and I believe she will seek that help. Mission accomplished - now let's let it go.

Amanda said...

Why does the last post end with "We have an email from Paul as well. Updates to come." and this one starts with "We have not received another email from Paul." Which is it?

fr3ak said...

Why would you take down so called evidence as you call it?

Don't you think if you just found out that someone you thought you knew and trusted, who you shared intimate detail of your life with, who you sincerely cared for and worried about, and went out of your way to provide support for, updates, friendship, a common ground with both CF as well as transplant(the list goes on)and you just found out that it was all a lie, in that one moment you lose your closest friend, your confordent, your Allie, someone who you thought related to you on a level that no other person possible could....

Don't you think you would erase them to? The person he thought was Pepe who we all thought was pepe was merely a ghost, a character that was never real...

What purpose does he have to keep those pictures? Why would you? The person in the pic wasn't pepe, it wasn't anyone we knew, so again why would you keep the pictures on your site?

I have talked to many many many CF's who are listed for tx, I have shared my writings my transplant pictures, every intimate detail about my transplant and not once have I ever asked them for proof of who they are, not once have I ever questioned their credibility...

You don't expect someone to lie to you, you don't expect them to take everything intimate detail you have given them and have it thrown in your face a year or more later...To find it was all a lie.

You have made your point, there was no "PEPE", there was however definitely a FOP, yes I considered myself a friend merely because we shared that common denominator of having not only CF but going through the ordeal of transplant...

Again you need to have CF and you need to walk the path of being listed for transplant, waiting for transplant, getting the transplant, recovering from transplant as well as coping with the physical and emotional changes and any complications that arise, you have to live it to truly know that we go out of our way to help someone else going through it, because we have been there done that we want to be able to help someone elses recovery, give them coping stratergies so they don't fall apart like we have, to make their transition that little bit easier!...

CF/dltx 2002

April said...

oh puuulease! now I'm trolling? Is the truth just hitting a little bit too close to home? I think the majority of folks reading this blog are catching on to the scam. Next you'll be asking for money for the legal fund! At least I have the balls to use my NAME! Karma will get those involved. That's enough for me! but if you ant to waste your time with the authorities have at it. Good luck with that. I just don't see the point of this site? I think someone is attention whoring!

April said...

btw if anyone wants to file a complaint here is the site

Jenn R said...

I agree with Kim...why would anyone keep photos of someone who didn't exist in the first place? Worse yet, someone who betrayed you in the worst possible way? I would be taking them down and having a virtual bonfire myself. I wouldn't leave them up to look at every time I went to my blog site. I doubt any of you would either.

As far as taking down his other blog (Transplantland), well, that has been explained over and over to the point that I feel like we are going around in circles. Just read the back posts for the explanation yet again.

As for being the person who chatted with both Q and Pepe, I have been in said chatroom on a few occassions. He must be very skilled or grew another set of hands to type with because there were times when there was no lag betweeen Q's entry or Pepe's, they were back to back within split seconds and with totally different writing styles. Each had a distinct manner in which they chatted.

As far as him using the site for money...the donate button was taken down after the money was raised for the Wii. I will also say, the majority of readers poured in after Nate linked FOP to his, way after the donate button was taken down. If you look at the amount of comments prior to that exposure, it didn't amount to much...the traffic was probably mostly from those who "knew" Gina from the CF community.

As far as Gina not possibly knowing the medical jargon, you would be surprised how crafty someone with Munchausen's is. They study labs, the procedures, right down to the vocabulary used by those who suffer the disease they are portraying. You need to remember that she belonged to the CF community for at least a few years, in that time she has befriended many, gotten close to a few who opened up to her, telling her their experiences etc...She learned through other's eyes the ins and outs of CF. If you belonged to forums like that, you too would learn about CO2 retention even the transplant process as people have blogs on those sites as well and document their journey many times. It becomes a big deal to other cystics when someone gets their "call". With the help of google, she could have easily filled in the blanks.

Just because she is meek and mild in real life, doesn't mean that she isn't capable of what she did. I can't tell you how many people are exposed as far as their "second lives" are concerned and of course we are all shocked, saying that "he or she didn't seem like the type."

I am sure that this will go around and around, it already has. Many of the questions asked already have been, if you look to the beginning and read, you will find them often with explanations.

Hsfarm1 said...

The main point I was trying ot make is "IF she has any responsibility for any of this or had knowledge of this and let it happen - she needs help and I believe she will seek that help. Mission accomplished - now let's let it go."

I also doubt the FBI is going to worry about this whole thing , I was just reading on their cyber security website and they are concerned with National security issues and international and large scale fraud. So good luck on your endeavors as far as that goes!

I truly believe this is a personal attack (right or wrong, no matter who did what).

Now - I'm off to enjoy a beautiful day with my horse and enjoy a QUIET trail ride. .

Annie said...

DWT: Could you please post the contact information (phone number, contact name, etc.) of the FBI office that you've been in contact with?

Piper said...

Okay guys, I don't like to post comments on these things, but it's clear some of you JUST DON'T GET IT.

Cystic Fibrosis is a serious, incruable, fatal disease. There is ample evidence that the woman known as Gina abused the trust of an entire community of people who, because of cross-infection concerns over in-person meetings, are forced to go online to find support from others like themselves. Without online support, CF can be completely isolating. And without trust, online support is a joke. So basically, Gina (who, if nothing else, we KNOW to have posted in the online forums under several different names), took the very raw and very real emotions of an entire group of people living with and, yes, in some cases dying from, this disease and totally ABUSED it.

I don't care about a Wii, personally. I don't want to ruin anyone's life. I believe in forgiveness. But I also think what she did went so far beyond a mere "sad little girl lying for attention" scheme. She needs to be held accountable for the pain she caused.

Those of you fighting for Gina here, I have no doubt you mean well. Please take a moment to read up on CF and lung transplant, however, before you suggest that we should "just let it go."

Sorry if I sound unduly passionate here. I have CF and, at 26, I just got evaluated for's a little bit of a touchy subject.

Claire said...

How can anyone be denying Nate (CF Husband) and Tricia's story?!?

I followed Pepe's blog and I continue to follow Nate's blog.

There are major differences---For instance-- On CF Husband there are pictures of Tricia in the hospital, videos of both Tricia and baby Gwyneth during their ICU/NICU hospitalizations, not to mention NEWSPAPER and MEDIA articles that were on ABC and other well known stations in their home-area and beyond! Pepe's story lacked this certification. I thought it was odd how nobody had contacted the media about such an amazing story...I guess now we know why.

Here are a few of the Newspaper/Media clips that pop up when googling Nate/Tricia Lawrenson--

Nags Head family: Miracle baby, miracle mother-

INSIDE: Duke University Med. Center: An interesting day-

Lung patient leaves hospital-

The Lawrensons live their second life-

Halrow3 said...

My best advice to everyone is to NEVER EVER donate to someone's personal trust fund or any online request for donations!!

Be cautious people! The internet can be a wonderful yet dangerous place!

Anyone that posts such personal medical and family info has got to be crazy in this day and age. If they do this in the hopes that others will "donate" to their personal cause, that is sick too!

Get a second job to pay your medical/ personal expenses, please do not use the internet to scam innocent people of hard earned monies!
Just go ahead and send your donations to a public regulated charity instead.

Kat said...

I just have to say that after a good night of sleep and coming back I noticed a couple things.... DWT has a way with keeping people coming back by only giving bits of the info..... not at all unlike another writer we know. Think.

But I say to those people. IF you are so very unsure of the intent of the writer of this blog, why continue to comment and be active in participating? Why not, as "DWT" suggested, take action yourselves and contact the authorities or the media or what-have-you.

I understand people want answers. People are hurt and people are confused. But most of you seem like intelligent people and no intelligent person is going to be content with the writings of an anonymous party such as on this blog.

It's time to let Paul/Gina/Pepe go I think and heal so that someday, maybe, we can begin to trust again and begin to extend our hearts to people again. There really are people who are sick, who need our prayers and even some that need our money. And they aren't going to get it until we heal. So let's start now and let go of the anonymous bull that's just proving to feed more questions than answers.