Guilty: Man admits role in $400K GoFundMe homeless vet scam
A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to a state charge stemming from a scheme that raked in more than $400,000 in online donations with a phony story about a homeless veteran.
Mark D'Amico pleaded guilty Friday in state Superior Court in Burlington County to misapplication of entrusted property stemming from the late 2017 scheme. Prosecutors say D'Amico, his ex-girlfriend, Katelyn McClure and homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt came up with a story about Bobbitt using is last $20 to help McClure get gas when she was stranded on the side of the road.
D’Amico, formerly of Bordentown, and his then-girlfriend, Kate McClure, claimed in November 2017 that McClure had run out of gas on Route 95 outside Philadelphia and that Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless good Samaritan, used his last $20 to get her gas.
The couple started a GoFundMe campaign that tugged at the heartstrings and quickly went viral.
Later, it turned out that the couple had used most of the money to fuel a lavish jet-setting lifestyle and that Bobbitt, while actually homeless and addicted to drugs, was a friend of the couple and in on the scam, prosecutors have said.
McClure already has pleaded guilty to both state and federal charges. The Department of Transportation last year suspended her from her secretarial job. Bobbitt also pleaded guilty in Superior Court in March and was sentenced in April to five years of probation. He has not been sentenced on the federal charges.
His attorney previously told the media that his ex-girlfriend was "on a crusade to save her a**."
GoFundMe refunded the $400,000 to more than 14,000 donors after investigators revealed the scam.
(Includes material copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
-- Includes past reporting by Sergio Bichao and Dan Alexander
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