Couple And Homeless Man Who Raised $400K On GoFundMe All Facing Charges For Making Up Their Story
A New Jersey couple and a homeless man who gave his last dollar to put gas in their car are all facing charges for allegedly conspiring to fabricate the story to make money for themselves.
A complaint obtained by NBC Philadelphia claims that the couple, Mark D’Amico and Kate McClure, created a GoFundMe for Johnny Bobbitt Jr. as part of an elaborate story the team concocted to deceive donors. The couple made national headlines for raising more than $400,000 for Bobbitt.
Investigators say the three individuals purposefully did not disclose information to their GoFundMe donors “that would affect their judgment about solicited contribution to that fundraising effort.”
The three are expected to face charges that include conspiracy and theft by deception, according to NBC Philadelphia’s source, after McClure and D’Amico turned themselves in Wednesday to Burlington County prosecutors.
The source did not confirm whether Bobbitt turned himself in as well.
What started out as a feel-good story in October 2017 involving a selfless homeless man giving up his last $20 to a woman whose car ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia turned into a year-long legal battle between the couple and Bobbitt over who got custody of the money.
McClure and D’Amico set up the GoFundMe campaign for Bobbitt on Nov. 10, 2017, with a goal of raising $10,000.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) November 15, 2018
Bobbitt, supposedly a homeless veteran, sued McClure and D’Amico in August for not giving him the entire $400,000 they raised for him on GoFundMe.
The lawsuit claimed the couple committed fraud by taking large portions of the fundraising money for themselves. It also claimed the couple bought an expensive car and a trip to the Grand Canyon, which Bobbitt speculated they used the GoFundMe money to pay for.
The couple denied they stole money from the fundraiser for those personal expenses during an interview on “Megyn Kelly Today” on Aug. 27. (RELATED: Homeless Vet Sues Couple After They Raised Thousands Of Dollars For Him)
A judge ordered the New Jersey couple days later to hand over the rest of the GoFundMe money they raised for Bobbitt, an allegedly drug-addicted homeless man.
“Giving him all that money, it’s never going to happen. I’ll burn it in front of him,” D’Amico told the Philadelphia Inquirer prior to the court ruling. He claimed at the time that giving him the money would be like “giving him a loaded gun.”
The couple bought Bobbitt a camper they parked on land McClure’s family owns in New Jersey, but D’Amico kicked him off the property soon after, leaving Bobbitt homeless again.
The Burlington County police department launched an investigation into McClure and D’Amico over the summer, NBC reported.
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