"I'm Going to Sue the Tail Off Him": Father Speaks Out After Homeless Son Found Dead - NBC Southern California

"I'm Going to Sue the Tail Off Him": Father Speaks Out After Homeless Son Found Dead

Father says he doesn't believe that nearly $145,000 raised for son were ever transferred to him before his death.

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    The family of Kenni "Thomas" Nickel is angry at YouTube videomaker Joshua Lin, who they said did not help Nickel as he told people he would after an interaction between the two went viral. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on June 26, 2015. (Published Friday, June 26, 2015)

    After the devastating loss of his son, William "Wally" Nickel had to get something off his chest.

    "I just don't feel Josh Lin has been honest at all," he said.

    His son, Kenni Nickel, was the homeless man given $100 as part of YouTube prankster Josh Lin's social experiment.

    During an interview with NBC4 in January, Lin said he met Kenni for the first time at the filming of his video.

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    Not so, said William, who said his son told him about the alleged "unstaged" encounter.

    "Josh gave him the card and said 'hold up the card and then I'll come along and that's how I'll know you're homeless and that's how I can offer you $100,' and that sort of thing," William said.

    Kenni, referred to in the video by his middle name Thomas, surprisingly used the money to buy groceries for his friends. The video went viral and people donated more than $145,000 to help Kenni get back on his feet.

    His brother, Kevin Nickel, also doesn't believe that Kenni ever saw the money.

    A month ago, Kenni was found in an alley, dead from chronic alcoholism.

    "When you're found in an alley four months later...dead... from consuming alcohol, clearly that wasn't done," Kevin said.

    Lin said in an online tribute that Kenni did receive the funds.

    "For those of you who donated funds to Thomas through Indiegogo, those funds were transferred to him on March 11th," Lin said.

    William showed NBC4 a document he said was from Lin. In the document, it stated Lin would be reimbursed nearly $20,000 for expenses. William never signed it but said it was one example of many.

    "They said if you don't sign this you're not going to get any money, so that's Josh Lin," William said.

    NBC4 attempted to make contact with Lin via phone, email and social media, all of which went unanswered.

    William believes Lin manipulated his son and wanted to track down the money so he could open a homeless center back in Missouri. According to him, it's what Kenni wanted.

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    "He wanted to help other homeless people," William said.

    His message for Lin," I'm going to sue the tail off him."

    Kenni's father was working on getting his death certificate so he could access his late son's bank account and find out how much was in it.

    He also plans to have a memorial service for him back home in Missouri.

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