'Glitch' Tarnishes Hedge Fund Manager's Gift

Jan 3 2012 | 4:50am ET

A hedge fund manager's generosity in the wake of a monstrous crime briefly led to some ugliness after a reported misunderstanding.

Choice Investments' Darren Weingrow pledged $10,000 to cover funeral costs and travel for the family members of Deloris Gillespie after the 73-year-old was burned to death in the elevator of her Brooklyn. N.Y., apartment building last month. The horrific crime was captured two security cameras, allegedly showing Jerome Isaac, a homeless handyman occasionally employed by Gillespie, dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire with a Molotov cocktail.

About 200 mourners gathered Friday in Brooklyn at a memorial service for Gillespie, who was remembered for her charitable works. But a day earlier, members of Gillespie's family blasted Weingrow and another donor for leaving them high and dry, after the money he pledged failed to arrive.

"With all that we are going through right now, I cannot believe that Mr. Weingrow left us stranded at the airport," Gillespie's daughter, Sheila Hillsman, said.

But Weingrow did send the money; its failure to reach an account set up by New York City Councilwoman Letitia James was the result of a "glitch," James said, which is "now resolved."

According to Weingrow, he was "bothered" by James' request for a further $8,000 to clean out Gillespie's apartment.

"I'm paying for what I agreed to pay for—nothing more and nothing less," he told the New York Daily News.

"I am a man of principle and a man of my word," he told The Wall Street Journal in a separate interview.

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