Wednesday, October 11, 2017

David and Gina Shuler, who own more than $1.161 million in Missouri real estate, are seeking financial assistance for their son's therapy on GoFundMe

Jack Shuler
Is it OK for wealthy people to seek crowd-sourcing funds for their own family needs, which public records indicate they easily could pay for themselves?

That question was at the heart of our recent post about Gina Hayes and David Neal Shuler (my lawyer/brother and sister-in-law), who have started a GoFundMe (GFM) page to raise funds for their disabled son's therapy. Jack Shuler, 15, has Hurler syndrome.

Different people might answer the question in different ways. But the individual who tipped me off to the story -- I call that person a Source Close to the Situation (SCTS) -- had strong feelings on the matter, and they were not favorable to Gina and David. Said SCTS:

Here's my bitch of the day. Gina and David are on gofundme raising money for rehab for Jack. Now i feel sympathy for Jack, but gina and david don't need any sort of financial assistance. what does david make a year? $250,000??? or more. Gina probably made $100,000 before she retired [as an air-traffic controller]. my god they live in Millwood in a house appraised at $634,000. disgusting.

people like them don't deserve any help with medical bills when so many are suffering with no help. outrageous. arrogant. privileged.

It didn't take me long to decide I agreed with SCTS. In fact, I could even add a few descriptive terms to describe David and Gina's actions -- "shameless," "tasteless," "conniving," "self-centered," "attention-seeking."

David Shuler and older son, Noah,
on a ski vacation.
My understanding is that David and Gina have not let much cramp their style. They have taken vacations to California, Utah, and various parts of Europe, family members have told me.

How wealthy are these folks who claim on GFM to need money? As SCTS notes, they live in Millwood, a golf-course/tennis club community southeast of Springfield, MO. Their residence, 3825 San Poppi Ct., is listed as being in Ozark, MO. Greene County property records show the residence is appraised at $621,300, so SCTS was almost right on the nose.

That figure, however, does not reflect the house's actual market value. It has 4 bedrooms. 4.5 baths, 5,557 square feet, and Zillow puts the market value at $718, 345.

The residence is only the beginning of Gina and David Shuler's real-estate holdings. They own seven properties in Greene County, Missouri, totaling more than $1 million. The exact appraised total is $1,161,500. A reasonable estimate of the market value is $1.3 million.

Here is a list of the properties, and their appraised values:

(1) 3825 San Poppi (residence)
      Sq. feet: 5557
      Appraised value: $621,300

(2) 4135 S. Parkhill Ct. (duplex)
      Sq. feet: 1676
      Appraised value: $137,900

(3) 4112 S. Ferguson Ave. (duplex)
      Sq. feet: 1941
      Appraised value: $146,600

(4) 3817 E. San Poppi Ct. (lot)
      Acres: 0.2429
      Appraised value: $63,000

(5) 2001 N. Boonville Ave. (duplex)
      Sq. feet: 1384
      Appraised value: $55,000

(6) 310 E. Camino Dr. (duplex)
      Sq. feet: 1114
      Appraised value: $66,900

(7) 304 E. Camino Dr. (duplex)
      Sq. feet: 1227
      Appraised value: $70,800

Do these folks really need help via donations at GFM? The financial figures noted above probably don't come close to their total net worth, which likely includes cash, savings, investments, personal property, real property in other counties or states (the $1 million is just in Greene County, MO), and other assets.

Couldn't Gina and David Shuler take out an equity loan or second mortgage on just one of their properties and pay for their son's therapy themselves? Could they cut back a bit on snazzy vacations and make the payments themselves? If the answers to those questions are yes, why are they asking for money on GoFundMe? Do their actions represent a special kind of gall, even fraud?

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