Residents in wealthy enclaves across the United States — from Beverly Hills, Calif., to suburbs of Austin, to Florida beach communities — sent millions of dollars to support trucker convoys that occupied the Canadian capital and shut down commerce at key border crossings between the two nations, according to a Washington Post analysis of leaked fundraising data posted online.

The richer an American community was, the more likely residents there were to donate, and the biggest number of contributions often came from communities where registered Republicans made up solid majorities, according to the review of more than 55,000 U.S.-based donations through the Christian fundraising website GiveSendGo. The site, which had suffered multiple security breaches over the past year, emerged as a fundraising magnet early this month after the better-known online fundraising platform GoFundMe stopped accepting donations for the convoy. GoFundMe pulled away after saying the occupation born out of opposition to vaccine requirements for truckers violated its policies.

A police officer walks between parked trucks as he distributes a notice to protesters, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 in Ottawa. Ottawa’s police chief was ousted Tuesday amid criticism of his inaction against the trucker protests that have paralyzed Canada’s capital for over two weeks, while the number of blockades maintained by demonstrators at the U.S. border dropped to just one.  (Adrian Wyld /The Canadian Press via AP) ajw116 ajw116

More

Hackers began to extract the information about donors to the controversial protest shortly after the Super Bowl began Sunday evening, the site’s co-founder Jacob Wells told The Post in an interview. Someone posing as a donor was able to make changes that gave the intruder administrative powers. The hack did not necessarily reveal donors’ identities, he said, because users are not required to give a real name or authentic email address to send money. But the site requires a donor to supply a ZIP code when making a credit card transaction to guard against fraud, Wells said, thereby revealing the locations of nearly all U.S. contributors.

“It’s true, this was a campaign funded almost entirely by Canadians and Americans,” Wells said. “And it’s not over, we’re pursuing every legal means to continue to get the money where donors intend it to go.”

At the request of Canadian authorities, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued an order Thursday, Feb. 10, halting the distribution of money from GiveSendGo fundraisers, which were organized under the names “Freedom Convoy 2022” and “Adopt-a-Trucker.”

Advertising

The hacked data from the Freedom Convoy campaign was shared Monday by the nonprofit leak publisher Distributed Denial of Secrets, which provided the data to journalists and researchers. The group released a second set of data Tuesday showing contributions to the “Adopt-a-Trucker” campaign.

Combined, the two data sets contained 100,316 donations totaling $8,961,973. Nearly 52% of the money came from residents in Canada. Almost 42% — and the largest overall number of contributions — came from the United States.

“I am not surprised at the slightest in regard to this information being leaked,” Elena Danielson, a Beverly Hills real estate agent, wrote in an email to The Post when asked about leaked data showing a $100 donation associated with her name and an email address related to her company.

In a series of emails, Danielson, 57, said she grew up in the Soviet Union, emigrated to Canada in the 1990s and then moved to the United States, where she is married and has grandchildren. Danielson, a Canadian American, said she was vaccinated when it became a condition for international travel but now is ashamed of what she sees as draconian mandates in her adopted nation to the north.

“I support the vaccine. I am glad that everyone who needed or wanted it is vaccinated. But now we all know that the vaccination status does not prevent from getting it again or spreading COVID. My husband just had it for the second time after getting a booster,” Danielson said, adding: “If [Canadian Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau was a true leader, he would admit to being wrong and lift the useless mandates.”

Similarly, Nancy Vasa of eastern Oregon donated to the Freedom Convoy, sending $2,000 through GiveSendGo on Feb. 5. In a place to add a note with the contribution, the 62-year-old Vasa wrote that she sees the danger to liberty closer to home: “May God bless our truckers for saving our freedom!'”

Advertising

Asked about the donation and the message that accompanied it, Vasa wrote in an email to The Post: “I believe that we are falling off the cliff to communism and the people rising up could be our last chance to get Americans to fight for our freedoms.” A registered Republican who became active in politics during the Trump presidency, Vasa added that she believes “the vaccine mandates are part of a mass murder by Big Pharma.”

Not all contributions from the United States were made by Republicans, according to leaked data that The Post compared with public records and voter registration data.

Nearly a third of the donations came from ZIP codes where Democrats outnumber Republicans, according to voter registration records. In Brooklyn The Post sent emails to an actor and a retired pastor who are registered Democrats and whose names and email addresses appeared to be associated with donations to the convoy campaigns. An active member of the Green Party there also appeared to give $50. None of the three returned emails seeking comment.

One donation of $50 to the Freedom Convoy campaign used an email address associated with the Delaware Transit Corp. The payment made on Feb. 9 under the name of the state transit agency’s chief operating officer, Richard Paprcka, included the message “God Bless you all, need your spirit here in the US!”

An official from the Delaware Transit Corp. and a spokesperson for Gov. John Carney, D, declined to comment when contacted by The Post. Paprcka did not respond to a request for comment sent to the email listed in the donation.

Across the South, contributions were often clustered, such as in the beach communities of Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island. There, a $350 donation appeared associated with the name and email address for George Leing, a former top lawyer in the Commerce Department under President Donald Trump. He did not respond to an email, and there was no answer at a phone number listed for him.

Advertising

Within a couple mile radius, 28 others donated, many $100 or more. Dozens of contributions also flowed from Green Cove Springs, a community south of Jacksonville. Florida overall had the third-highest number of contributors and total donations.

Rebecca Walser confirmed she donated $5,000 on Feb. 6 to the Freedom Convoy fundraising campaign using a Tampa Bay-area ZIP code for the payment. “I’m anti-mandate libertarian,” Walser told The Post in a brief email.

Two of the biggest pockets of donors nationwide were centered to the north in Marietta and Roswell, Ga. To the west, Leander, Texas, a suburb north of Austin, had the highest number of overall donations with 38 individual contributors. Many included references to Bible verses in notes explaining their donations. A shop owner there declined to comment on a $100 donation when reached by The Post.

Only a handful of contributors gave more than $10,000 apiece.

Most were Canadian and defended their decisions in emails to The Post, calling the protest historic and fundamental to Canadians’ rights to free speech.

The largest single contributor to the convoy from the United States appears to have been Thomas Siebel, who made a fortune in software development in Silicon Valley in the 1990s. A donation of $90,000 was made in Siebel’s name and using an email address associated with his past business, Siebel Systems.

The donation was not marked anonymous, and was published last week by supporters of the truckers. Siebel did not return an email seeking comment, nor did he return an email and message left with his assistant.

— — —

The Washington Post’s Lenny Bronner, Miriam Berger and Amanda Coletta contributed to this report.