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Crime Alleged ringleader in $400K GoFundMe scam pleads guilty

12:20  09 december  2019
12:20  09 december  2019 Source:   today.com

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Mark D'Amico's guilty plea to one count of misapplication of entrusted property brings the case against him as well as his girlfriend and the homeless man, each of whom pleaded guilty earlier this year In addition, he must also help repay the more than $ 400 ,000 reaped as part of the GoFundMe campaign

Authorities have alleged D'Amico was the ringleader and concocted the story. The federal criminal complaint released Thursday alleged all of the money raised in the GoFundMe campaign was spent by March 2018, with large chunks spent by McClure and D’Amico on an RV, a BMW and numerous trips

A New Jersey man accused of creating an online fundraiser for a homeless veteran to dupe donors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars pleaded guilty Friday as part of a plea deal.

a man and a woman posing for the camera: Johnny Bobbitt Jr., left, Kate McClure, right, and McClure's boyfriend Mark D'Amico pose at a Citgo station in Philadelphia.© Elizabeth Robertson Johnny Bobbitt Jr., left, Kate McClure, right, and McClure's boyfriend Mark D'Amico pose at a Citgo station in Philadelphia.

Mark D'Amico's guilty plea to one count of misapplication of entrusted property brings the case against him as well as his girlfriend and the homeless man, each of whom pleaded guilty earlier this year to state and federal charges in connection with the scam, closer to a resolution.

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How this trio's $ 400 K GoFundMe scam was finally exposed. Bobbitt and McClure have both pleaded guilty to federal and state crimes. The federal criminal complaint released Thursday alleged all of the money raised in the GoFundMe campaign was spent by March 2018, with large chunks

Mark D'Amico's guilty plea to one count of misapplication of entrusted property brings the case against him as well as his girlfriend and the homeless man, each of whom earlier pleaded guilty to state In addition, he must also help repay the more than $ 400 ,000 reaped as part of the GoFundMe campaign

D'Amico, 39, is expected to be sentenced next April, and has agreed to five years in prison as part of the deal with Burlington County prosecutors, reported NBC Philadelphia.

"We are pleased that this defendant accepted responsibility for his role in this scam," Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in a statement Friday. "He will be required to make full restitution to GoFundMe and the donors — the true victims in this case — and has agreed to a five-year term in New Jersey state prison."

a couple of men standing on top of a table: TODAY, product courtesy of merchant site© TIM TAI TODAY, product courtesy of merchant site

D'Amico's plea means he is admitting to spending part of the more than $400,000 collected, but not that he was behind the ruse with girlfriend Kate McClure, 29, and the homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., 36. He still faces more serious federal charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering, but any sentence could be served concurrently under the plea agreement.

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A woman and a homeless man who fabricated a heartwarming story of compassion that drew more than $ 400 ,000 in donations on GoFundMe pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges on Wednesday. Johnny Bobbitt, 36, pleaded guilty in federal court in Camden, N.J

Woman at center of $ 400 K GoFundMe scam pleads guilty . Katelyn McClure pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception as part of the agreement in New Jersey Superior Court.

GoFundMe last year promised to repay all of the donors who gave money in the original campaign, which was first posted in late 2017 and entitled "Paying It Forward."

D'Amico and McClure created the account after she said she ran out of gas near a Philadelphia interstate and bumped into Bobbitt, who used his last $20 to pay for her fuel. The story was so heartwarming that the campaign, which asked for donations to help Bobbitt rent an apartment and get his own car, went viral.

More than 14,000 people ended up donating, and the trio's story became national news and landed them on television.

But their yarn started to unravel when Bobbitt claimed the money that was supposed to go to him was gone and accused D'Amico and McClure of withholding most of the funds.

In announcing charges in November 2018, Burlington County prosecutors said they seized more than 60,000 cellphone messages between McClure and D'Amico that detailed their financial woes, including bills and debts, and how they began thinking of Bobbitt when the idea of a hoax first took root. The money, prosecutors said, was used to pay for lavish vacations for the couple, handbags, clothes and D'Amico's gambling addiction.

Bobbitt was sentenced in April to five years' probation in state court and must help pay back the money.

McClure, who has claimed it was D'Amico who masterminded the scheme, has seen her sentencing dates postponed. She faces four years in state prison and must also repay the money, NBC Philadelphia reported.

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