Woman, homeless man in GoFundMe scheme plead guilty

07 Mars, 2019, 05:45 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Katelyn McClure Johnny Bobbitt

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

Johnny Bobbitt, 36, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiring to commit money laundering and Kate McClure, 28 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

The bogus Good Samaritan story was posted by McClure and her then-boyfriend Mark D'Amico, 39.

The trio still face state charges of conspiracy and theft by deception in Burlington County, NJ. The following month, McClure and D'Amico deposited $25,000 of the proceeds into Bobbitt's account, authorities said.

D'Amico is facing criminal charges of trespass following the breakdown of his relationship with McClure, the BBC said. Bobbitt faces up to 10 years in prison, and McClure faces 20 years, CBS Philadelphia reported.

The tale of a homeless good Samaritan made worldwide headlines, with the trio appearing on TV. They've all pleaded not guilty.

Bobbitt and the couple raised $400,000, which authorities said was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

GoFundMe said it has refunded all the donations from more than 14,000 people.

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Bobbitt was arrested last November by USA marshals in Philadelphia.

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

McClure (left) claimed homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt (right) helped her when she ran out of gas. She then set up an online fundraising page, claiming she wanted to thank him.

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

McClure could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the offense, although she is much likelier to receive 27 to 33 months, based on her lack of criminal history.

'I told Kate this was inevitable once the charges had been made public by the Prosecutor, ' her lawyer James Gerrow told the publication. Prosecutors reportedly began investigating after Bobbitt said he wasn't getting money raised on his behalf.

D'Amico's lawyer, Mark Davis, responded by saying: 'She seems to be on a crusade to save her a** at the moment, I assume because her name is on everything'. He will be sentenced at a later date, prosecutors said.

D'Amico later showed Bobbitt a newspaper article about the campaign, which Bobbitt knew told a fake story of him helping McClure.

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