Houston-area family says crowdfunding money for Ukraine tied up

Chris Tine and his wife Larysa set out to raise money for their family and friends in Ukraine.

HOUSTON – Chris Tine and his wife Larysa set out to raise money for their family and friends in Ukraine.

Tine said he created a fundraiser through Facebook on March 2nd with a goal of raising 10-thousand dollars. So far, he’s been able to raise just over 8-thousand dollars.

He told KPRC the funds are for food, supplies and transportation for those trying to get out of the country.

He’s also sent some of his own money to his wife’s son.

“We’ve been getting it to her son who has set up two shelters for people, to maybe sleep overnight on their way to Poland,” They are transits through Vynnitsia.” Said Tine.

Tine said the money was supposed to be deposited into his account within days of receiving the donations but was not seeing it.

“They said it takes up to five days before your payouts will start, so they scheduled the first payout of whatever came in that day and when they day rolled around, there was no payout,” Tine said.

Tine eventually got an email from Stripe, Facebook’s fundraising payment processor which states it distributes each donation after a seven day hold to reduce risks, such as refunds and negative balances.

Stripe also said Tine’s account was in violation of the Stripe Services Agreement. Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for crowdfunding.

KPRC reached out to Stripe for clarity on the decision but did not hear back from Stripe or Facebook.

However, Tine did receive an email from Stripe explaining what happened.

“Stripe is required by law to complete what’s called a KYC (Know Your Customer) survey for every business that signs up with us, regardless of how many transactions they’ve processed. This involves completing in depth reviews.”

“It may be that, but it shouldn’t be that hard when you have people over there that really need to be helped right now and it’s getting worse.” Said Tine.

Stripe also said Tine can expect payouts into his account by Tuesday, March 15th.

Tine said he hopes it’s true because his family and friends need the money as soon as possible.

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