An Escondido man pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to a year in jail for setting up a bogus fundraising campaign for the family of a slain officer.
Sami Ahmed Saeed, 25, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property and identity theft. In addition to 365 days in custody, he will be on probation for three years.
Saeed set up the fake GoFundMe.com website in July following the death of Escondido police Officer Laura Perez.
She was found dead after a house fire July 23 and her husband is charged with her murder.
Police said Saeed’s fundraiser purported to raise money for Perez’s family, specifically her 4-year-old daughter.
No one had donated to the account before Saeed was arrested and the GoFundMe website was removed. He also was a suspect in several fake fundraisers for a young cancer victim.
Escondido Police say Saeed apparently worked for the U.S. military, and his friend from Ohio confirmed that Saeed was an Arabic translator for U.S. troops during the Iraq War.