Man Pleads Guilty and Gets 5 Years in Prison for Orchestrating GoFundMe Scam

Mark D'Amico and his accomplice Katelyn McClure scammed $400,000 through a fake feel-good story.

Crime scene tape flutters

Image via Getty/Mark Makela

Crime scene tape flutters

A New Jersey man pled guilty in court on Friday to scamming $400,000 through a fake GoFundMe page, prosecutors tell CNN

In 2017, 29-year-old Mark D'Amico and his accomplice Katelyn McClure told social media users that McClure ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. They claim that a homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., saw her and gave her his last $20. As a result, they decided to start a GoFundMe page to raise money for the man. The feel-good story ended up going viral and the page earned $400,000 from more than 14,000 people. But, the entire scenario was fake. 

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Instead of giving all the money to the homeless man, the then-couple spent the cash on a BMW, a New Year's trip to Las Vegas, gambling while in Las Vegas, Louis Vuitton handbags, and other items. Bobbitt did receive $75,000, but once news of the scam hit headlines he decided to take legal action against the couple. Yet, that didn't allow him to evade punishment. 

Bobbitt was sentenced to a complete a drug treatment program after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception. If he doesn't complete the program, he could face a four-year prison sentence. 

McClure pleaded guilty in April to second-degree theft by deception. She has agreed to serve four years in prison but has not been officially sentenced. 

D'Amico will serve five years in prison and will get his official sentience in April. 

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