My name is Matthew Fanelli, a 20 year-old full-time student in New Jersey. As a part of my growing career interest, I have recently began pursuing YouTube as a means of both financial gain and personal fulfillment.
My YouTube and other social media pages focus on LEGO, documenting my progress of massive builds that can take upwards of half a year to build! I share my progress with weekly videos which my audience can see and enjoy.
In these projects, I have sponsors who help contribute to the final product. A man, who I considered as someone genuinely invested in my personal and professional success, who pledged a monetary sponsorship, has disputed every donation that they have made in the span of over a month claiming that the contributions were unauthorized purchases - this cannot be farther from the truth.
It is very clear that this individual made these donations voluntarily in exchange for sponsored messages - which were fulfilled in full. In addition, screenshots of dozens of conversations and even a published YouTube live-stream where this individual voluntarily joins help to prove that these contributions were not coerced and in fact 100% voluntary. Despite clearly showing this evidence to Pay Pal and the banks, the cases were decided against me.
After a simple google search of this individuals personal information, it was revealed that this person had run-ins with the law, had been in jail numerous times, and was involved in the KKK, Aryan Nations, and other White Supremacy activities; something very scary.
This individual waited until I had begun my project to retract these donations. This individual knew that I had been making great progress and spending the sponsorship money towards the project and this is when they decided to file disputes through Pay Pal to get the money back. This person then proceeded to block me via text message and deleted all their LEGO accounts, giving me no method to contact this individual.My total debt from over a month of these sponsored contributions totals to $2,707.87 (this campaign is rounded up to $2,800, taking GoFundMe fees into account).
What is even more upsetting is that this person wasn't my only sponsor. I have two legitimate companies who have invested in this project series on YouTube. I came to these two sponsors with the vision of something incredible, assuming I had the monetary backing that was wrongfully taken from me. Prior to the individual revoking all their money, I made changes to my project assuming I had this steady financial backing. For example, an additional table and extra LEGO baseplates were purchased, certain aspects of my build were extended and enlarged only because I believed I had a steady income of sponsored contributions. This of course is where the pledged money went towards; purchases that would not have otherwise been made if this individual was not a sponsor. For this reason, because I wish to fulfill my promises to my sponsors, myself, and my audience, I will continue to graciously and humbly take contributions past the goal; with the extra contributions, I can continue to fulfill the promises I made to these companies that entrusted their product and brand with me. Because of you, your support, and generosity, I can continue with my passion and complete the vision I once had
. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy days to understand my situation. Much love!