GoFundMe has issued refunds to those who donated to the family of alleged murder victim Hannah McGuire, following the discovery that tens of thousands of dollars were allegedly stolen.

Police allege Ms McGuire, 23, was murdered by her ex-partner, Lachlan Young, 21, with her body found in a burnt-out car in Scarsdale, south of Ballarat in Victoria, in April.

A GoFundMe was soon created on behalf of the Clunes Cricket Club, which Ms McGuire’s family is heavily involved with. 

It had raised almost $65,000 for the family in the weeks following her death.

It was set up by 26-year-old Lachlan Morganti, who is now being accused of stealing more than $60,000 from the online fundraiser after the funds were transferred to his account with the expectation he would send them on to the family.

Morganti, who played A Grade cricket for Clunes in Victoria, allegedly stole the money to fuel a suspected gambling addiction. 

Hannah McGuire's loved ones have been dealt yet another cruel blow after $65,000 was allegedly stolen from a GoFundMe raising money for her grief-stricken parents (Ms McGuire is pictured)

Hannah McGuire’s loved ones have been dealt yet another cruel blow after $65,000 was allegedly stolen from a GoFundMe raising money for her grief-stricken parents (Ms McGuire is pictured)

Lachlan Morganti (pictured), 26, has been charged with theft after more than $60,000 was allegedly stolen from the online fundraiser

Lachlan Morganti (pictured), 26, has been charged with theft after more than $60,000 was allegedly stolen from the online fundraiser

The GoFundMe for Ms McGuire's family has since been taken down (pictured)

The GoFundMe for Ms McGuire’s family has since been taken down (pictured)

Mr Morganti told the Herald Sun that he regretted the pain caused to Ms McGuire’s family and that the addiction controlled his life.

‘I am so incredibly shattered and ashamed of myself,’ he said.

‘I adore that family so much … I’m so sorry I’ve added more stress and pain on to everything they were already coping with.

‘I’ve had an addiction to online gambling for over three years now to the point where it’s completely controlled my life.’

Mr Morganti has been charged with theft and was bailed to appear before the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on June 20.

GoFundMe has since taken the fundraiser down and is issuing refunds to donors.

‘The GoFundMe Trust and Safety team is aware of this alleged misuse of funds, and will work with authorities and all parties to reach a resolution,’ a spokesman for GoFundMe said.

‘We will always make sure that donations are used as intended. Our team is in contact with the McGuire family, and will continue to liaise with them, and authorities, as required.’

Mr Young has been charged with murder and appeared in court in April. 

He has not yet entered a plea.

Victoria (Australia)Crime

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