Two admit $600,000 GoFundMe hoax about homeless man

Katelyn McClure Johnny Bobbitt

A homeless man charged with engaging in a $400,000 GoFundMe scheme has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Prosecutors told the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly, New Jersey, that Bobbitt conspired with McClure and her then-boyfriend Mark D'Amico to make up the 2017 story which claimed she gave the homeless man cash for petrol after being stranded along a U.S. highway.

Bobbitt, McClure, and her then-boyfriend Mark D'Amico, who still all face state charges in Burlington County, New Jersey, were accused of fabricating a feel-good story about Bobbitt coming to McClure's aid when she ran out of gas along the highway and gave her his last $20.

But prosecutors later claimed that the story was a hoax, saying "the entire campaign was predicated on a lie".

The scheme raised $400,000, which the couple claimed would be donated to Bobbitt. GoFundMe says it has refunded all the donations.

None of them have pleaded guilty to those charges, a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, McClure is facing nearly three years behind bars, while Bobbitt could face between six and 30 months.

In court Wednesday, a narrative emerged that pinned D'Amico as the mastermind of the scam.

Prosecutors also previously released texts from McClure including one sent less than an hour after the couple set up the GoFundMe page where she allegedly wrote to a friend that the "gas part is completely made up" and to 'shush about the made-up stuff'.

McClure, who said she was feeling "very nervous" during the hearing, confirmed that D'Amico had introduced her to Bobbitt, now 36, who he knew from his trips to a Philadelphia casino.

Meanwhile, McClure has been suspended from her state job with the Department of Transportation.

McClure is facing 33 months in prison, while Bobbitt could face a custodial term of between six and 30 months, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

'I told Kate this was inevitable once the charges had been made public by the Prosecutor, ' her lawyer James Gerrow told the publication. Yet, it adds to the traumatizing impact this case has had on Kate'. Their relationship soured, though, when Bobbitt sued the couple over what he said was their failure to turn money over to him.



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