Couple and "homeless veteran" charged in alleged GoFundMe scam

Lester Mason
November 18, 2018

Johnny Bobbitt, Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico on December 5, 2017.

New Jersey couple Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico created the GoFundMe campaign on November 10, 2017, saying homeless veteran Jonny Bobbitt Jr. had given his last $20 to McClure for gas after her vehicle broke down.

Coffina said nearly no part of the tale was true.

The couple claimed the money would go to two financial trusts for Bobbitt and a lawyer to help him manage the money, but in August the former marine tried to sue McClure and D'Amico, accusing them of taking more than their fair share of the money. They also used it at casinos, he said.

"Let me say this about Johnny Bobbitt", said Coffina.

Mr. Bobbitt and the couple quickly went viral when it surfaced that he had spent his last $20 to help her. It gave Bobbitt $US20,000, and said it may give him the rest of the money pending an investigation.

"I had to make something up to make people feel bad", McClure allegedly said in another text to a friend.

- Mark D'Amico and Katelyn McClure's Bordentown cottage looked empty Friday with only an outside light on.

"So this girl runs out of gas and has a flat tire at the same time in front of Wal-Mart and is blocking traffic", he wrote. "So shush about the made up stuff", she said, according to Coffina.


He said GoFundMe told his office that it would refund the money contributed by everyone who had donated.

Bobbitt was arrested Wednesday night by USA marshals in Philadelphia and remained in custody Thursday. "It was-it was based on a lie", said Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina in Thursday's press conference. "Mr. D'Amico took advantage of that". The Go Fund Me page they set up over a year ago generated a lot of interest and money.

In a statement, a spokesman for the crowdfunding site confirmed donors will receive a refund. "Use caution and common sense when donating", he said.

The group spent lavishly, Coffina said, and there are "zero" dollars left.

Last fall, social media was abuzz with the story of McClure and D'Amico's seeming act of kindness. The couple maintained they had given him $200,000 over several months. It seemed like his life had changed with the help he had received from the campaign.

But questions about the money soon followed.

Homeless advocates put Bobbitt in touch with lawyers. Mr. Bobbitt accused the couple of kicking him out, selling his vehicle and spending the money they raised for him on other things. Prosecutors say the cash was "squandered" on shopping sprees, travel, cash withdrawals, and gambling.

Following earlier legal turmoil, the couple reportedly turned themselves in to authorities on Wednesday and will face charges for allegedly conspiring with the man to make up a heartwarming story in order to crowdfund the fortune, according to newly reported court documents.

Prosecutors began investigating after Bobbitt claimed he wasn't getting the money that had been raised on his behalf. On the morning of September 6, police raided the home of McClure and D'Amico in Florence Township, New Jersey, according to Philly.com, in the hopes of finding the missing money. In 2012, he posted a similar tale on his Facebook page, only in that version Bobbitt lived in North Carolina and said the woman was stranded by an empty gas tank and a flat tire.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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