• Mother of man accused of lying about kidney transplant to collect money speaks

    By: Catherine Varnum


    The mother of the man accused of taking tens of thousands in donations from friends is speaking out.

    Last week Action News told you about Kyle Halllman. Friends filed a police report saying he scammed them out of thousands of dollars by setting up GoFundMe and YouCaring sites asking for money for a kidney and dialysis.

    Since them the internet sites told Action News they are doing an investigation.

    Action News spoke to Hallman’s mother by phone Monday night. She says she hasn’t spoken to her son in two weeks and doesn’t know where he is, but says she had no reason to believe her son didn’t need that kidney or dialysis.

    We have also spoken with two other women who say they alone have given him almost $100,000.

    Friends from all over the country helped Hallman, donating tens of thousands of dollars.

    “I thought I was keeping this man alive,” said Jill Celani.

    Celani showed Action News credit card statements showing payment after payment to Hallman’s Paypal account. She says the total is close to $30,000.

    “I just kept thinking I have to keep him alive because I’m in so deep, the money is going to be there,” Celani said. 

    Celani said she met him at work three years ago. They started talking and formed a friendship. Then she says Hallman asked for money.

    “Every day it was 'I need a little bit. I need meds.' It just escalated,” Celani said. She says she gave him her holiday bonuses, income tax refunds, and sold things for him.

    “I believed him. I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” Celani said. “I’m financially ruined because of him.”

    A woman from Canada who does not want to reveal her name said she gave Hallman $70,000. She said she thought Hallman was her boyfriend.

    “I thought I had found the love of my life,” the woman said. “I had to get a second job to try and pay my mortgage.”

    Now both women just hope police can find Hallman and figure out how this happened.  Hallman’s mother said she wants answers just as much as everyone else does. She said her son does have diabetes and uses insulin. He told her he was having kidney surgery sometime this month. Hallman's mother said she understands everyone is angry, but wants to know what police find in their investigation. 

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