UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF POST
1st Lt. Dustin Shumney was a devout Catholic, dedicated officer, family man, and Iraq War hero, who was raised in Benecia, Calif. and played youth football.
His widow Julie, and their three children Jordan, 15; Mallory, 11; Conner, 6 were awarded the Bronze Star with the Combat ‘V’ device on August 4, 2005 as a result of his heroic actions in Fallujah, Iraq while serving as the commander of 2nd platoon, Charlie Company, Battalion Landing Team for Hawaii based 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
He led his men fearlessly into Fallujah in November of 2004. Shumney’s confidence, proficiency and warfighting spirit made a positive impact on his platoon's ability to fight.
And fight they did. Few men have ever exercised the type of bravery exhibited by Shumney and his men. From throwing live enemy grenades that landed at his feet back at the enemy, to leading his men through dangerous minefields, to clearing houses filled with suicidal insurgents, all the while under sporadic mortar, RPG, and small arms fire.
Articles have been written. Heroes have been recognized. Medals have been awarded.
Lt. Shumney died on Jan. 26, 2005, when the CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter he and his men were using for transport crashed due to a sandstorm about 200 miles from Baghdad near Ar Rutbah, Iraq killing all on board. Approximately 30 Marines and one sailor perished in the crash making it one of the deadliest days for U.S. troops since the initial invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
On that day, Julie Shumney became a widow, and the three children she and Dustin had lovingly brought into the world, Jordan, Mallory, and Conner, became fatherless.
One of the most noble things a person can do, is to help widows and orphans during their “time of trouble.“
The harshness of the reality that her soulmate would never walk through their front door again and take her in his arms, the emptiness that Daddy would never again tuck them into their beds, kiss them goodnight and chase away the boogeymen; the knowledge that he would never be there to lead, guide, play with, and love their children again, is a time of trouble no decent person would ever wish upon any other.
In times like those, friends and family should come together, band around the widow and the fatherless, and give them aid and comfort.
This is the tale of two men who preyed upon this widow and her fatherless children, in their time of trouble, and bilked them out of $57,000.
Arguably, one of the best ways a person can work through grief is to give oneself to a charitable cause. This is what Julie Shumney did. She held a Bible study at her house with people from her church, and through the course of those weekly meetings she came up with the idea to raise money to give to various Christian outreach programs around the country.
More specifically, a program that would give money to Iraq War widows and orphans. This was especially dear to her. She wanted to help those who would go through what she had been going through.
This is where Julie Shumney’s heart is, to help those truly in need.
“I just was wanting to give back,” Julie said.
Enter Jeff, an evangelist from her church, who also led the weekly Bible study in Julie’s house, he seemed like a nice enough guy. And when the idea to help Iraq War widows and orphans came about, Jeff told Julie about a friend of his named Ken.
Jeff explained that Ken had had some success in an eBay business that revolved around buying truckloads of returned electronics merchandise from national chain stores like Circuit City and Wal-Mart at a greatly reduced price. They go through the items, salvaging what they can and putting them up for sale on eBay.
According to Jeff and Ken, their first investor, a man named Hencer, had fronted them the money needed to get that business going, and Hencer claimed he had received his initial investment back with no problem.
What could go wrong? The nice evangelist guy has a friend with a tried and true method that could help them raise lots of money to give to Iraq War widows and orphans. Her idea was that they would recoup the initial investment and give the profits to the widows and orphans charity, then take that initial investment and buy another truckload of reduced electronics, etc etc...and continue the cycle of charitable giving.
Sounded like a good plan for a good cause.
They drew up a contract. Julie gave them a Cashier’s Check for $40,000 with the stipulation that $5,000 be used to help “start up” the business, and that nobody made any profit off of the venture, that the profits would go to the charities. Contract signed, check handed over, Julie felt good. She felt that she might be able to help make a difference in the lives of those who would be going through one of the worst times of their lives.
Both Jeff and Kenneth had said that the project would be a side thing for them, that they would be volunteering their time with the project in the spirit of giving, and helping the Iraq war widows and orphans.
But soon afterward, things started to go bad. The contract they had signed had mysteriously disappeared. Whenever Julie would call Ken or Jeff to check on how things were going, she would get conflicting stories.
Things weren’t adding up.
But Julie, being a good Christian, believed that because they were also Christians, brothers in the faith, she should give them the benefit of the doubt.
Then one day, Jeff the evangelist came to Julie in tears. He said he was unable to live with himself knowing what he knew and that he was losing sleep, and his conscience was eating away at him.
He told her that Ken had been pocketing the money. That Ken had bought a car for his wife with it, that he had been making his own house payments with it, that he had been simply spending it as if it were his own money. Jeff went on to tell Julie that he himself had been unfaithful with the funds, paying for an expensive school for his own son, as well as numerous other personal bills.
Julie said “Well, let’s go get my electronics from your garage then. They belong to me.”
Jeff agreed. But Jeff said that Ken was a dangerous person with a criminal background. That there was no telling what he would do if he was confronted with his wrongdoing. So they decided initially, to not tell Ken that Jeff had informed Julie of the deception. Instead they took the merchandise, rented a warehouse, and moved it there. Then, Jeff told Ken that he was no longer part of the project.
Jeff then told Julie they needed to buy another smaller truckload of electronics to try and help recoup her losses, and Julie reluctantly agreed on the condition that she send the money directly to the company that was selling the truckload of electronics, and she did that.
Jeff brought in a man named Brandon, who was supposedly an honest guy, to help.
Soon after they started operating, Jeff said that Paypal kept shutting them down and they didn’t know why. Jeff gave Julie some excuse about eBay, which she found hard to believe. Julie knew it was time to just shut it down. Brandon came to her and told her that things with Jeff were “not as they seemed.”
Julie ended recouping only $7,000 of her $57,000 investment. Ken had threatened her if she tried to come after him for her money back. Apparently these two guys run some ministry called John G. Lake.org.
I talked to Julie on the phone this afternoon. Her income, which was supposed to be from an annuity is gone because she had to liquidate the annuity. She is having a hard time making ends meet.
She wants to pursue the matter legally, but that also takes money that she doesn’t have.
An Iraq War Hero’s widow and fatherless children need your help.
Click the Paypal button above to donate directly to Julie Shumney's Paypal account.
I have recieved an e-mail from Kenneth Waters, who is referred to in this story.
I am posting his response without comment, other than I have personally donated $250 to Julie Shumney's family.
This is Kenneth Waters
· I do not have a criminal background
· I have never threatened anyone (Julie, you must have not known that this would put my family or I in danger)
· I have not spoke to Julie since November 2005 (have never been contacted by a lawyer for that matter)
· I was told it was $40,000. Which was deposited into Jeff’s personal account (where did the extra $17000 come from)
· Julie told Jeff that I didn’t owe her any thing.
Julie, you have to stop this. This is not the truth. If it where you would have contacted a lawyer. I would urge you to. At least in court I can testify to what actually happened. You encourage my name and home address (where my wife and four kids are) on a website that proclaims God one minute and yet says their going to pay my family a “visit at 4:30am” and “going to mow the grass” the next.
Yes, I had an ebay business. Jeff talked me into a partnership with Julie to start a larger business. Julie funded $40,000 to start it. We worked out of my house to keep cost low. (Julie, I told Jeff that I transferred $32.00 from his paypal to mine for payment. What did he tell you? I got fired over a $32.00 misunderstanding and now all these lies.) While I was “in business” with them I was paid and so was Jeff. I bought a $1500.00 white ford escort and made my regular monthly mortgage payments. My wife worked full time for Homeland Security.
I moved all the merchandise from my garage to the warehouse.
I left you my account information and contacts where you could buy your product from for resale.
I left you my forklift - $1500.00, four(4) pallet racks - $1200.00, a computer, icebox, all my testing equipment and tables.
Guys, I could see how you can get angry reading this story. Man if I read this (with out knowing the truth) I would want something done. The truth is there is not validity to this story. Julie invested in a start up business that did not do well after I left.
Julie, it was never my fault Jeff didn’t know how to run an ebay business. Remember the Gensser and Jeff business? Jeff was only with us for three(3) months. He knew nothing about running that business, ask Chris, I ran it.
I am a Christian, I have the light of God living in me through the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that the Holy Spirit will put the truth in your hearts.
Julie, I don’t know what you want to accomplish by doing this, but be assured this is not the right way.
Now JGLM, I have never worked for JGLM or represented them in anyway. There have been wrongful allegations brought forth and hateful emails. I ask in light of the truth that they stop. Curry has been a blessing to our family.
I will accept any personal emails concerning this matter as no matter what is said after I post this I will not respond on this blog.
I respectfully ask that the threats stop, my wife is calling me crying and scared. Man, what are ya’ll trying to do? I don’t know if there is anything that I can do legally or not but this story has to be stopped.
Thank you and Be Blessed!