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HomenewsThree Years in Prison for New Jersey Gofundme Scammer

Three Years in Prison for New Jersey Gofundme Scammer

Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend allegedly lied to raise almost 0,000 for a destitute guy.
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Three were charged.

Prosecutors say a woman was sentenced to three years in New Jersey state prison on Friday for her role in a GoFundMe campaign that garnered over 0,000 for a homeless man.

According to prosecutors, Katelyn McClure, 32, of Burlington Township, N.J., and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, started a GoFundMe campaign in November 2017 for Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless veteran in Philadelphia.

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Prosecutors said the couple lied on GoFundMe about Mr. Bobbitt giving Ms. McClure his last $20 when she ran out of petrol. Ms. McClure and Mr. D’Amico hoped to raise $10,000 for Mr. Bobbitt’s apartment, car, and six months of living expenses.

Their appeal attracted $402,000. Prosecutors claimed Ms. McClure and Mr. D’Amico spent much of the money on a BMW, gambling, Louis Vuitton handbags, a trip to Las Vegas, and a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon.

In 2018, Mr. Bobbitt sued Ms. McClure and Mr. D’Amico, claiming he got $75,000. After the scheme failed, all three were charged.

After pleading guilty, Ms. McClure received a 366-day federal sentence. The Burlington County prosecutor said Friday that the state sentence will run concurrently with the federal one.

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Ms. McClure, a former New Jersey Department of Transportation employee, was forbidden from public employment as part of her state sentence.

The Burlington County prosecutor, Lancia L. Bradshaw, stated that almost 14,000 people were deceived in the scheme and that their “decency and concern for others evoked a really touching response to support someone they believed was truly in need.”

She said, “Our aim is that prosecutions like these will dissuade criminals from such fraudulent conduct, but not discourage individuals from caring about those who are in crisis as a result of a catastrophe, or simply need a helping hand after facing a hardship or setback.”

Ms. McClure’s counsel declined to comment. “We take the misuse of our platform extremely seriously,” a GoFundMe representative said Monday.

“While the overwhelming majority of people utilize our platform every day to help others, we are aware that unscrupulous actors do exist and will attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity,” the statement stated.

“We repaid 100% of all donations through our GoFundMe Giving Guarantee and, as we always do, we worked with law enforcement to ensure justice was done,” it said.

Mr. D’Amico pleaded guilty and received a 27-month federal sentence. He received five years in New Jersey state prison. Concurrent sentences.

Mr. Bobbitt pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy to steal by fraud in March 2019.

The authorities said he wrote a similar statement on his Facebook page in 2012, stating he had given up his supper money to help a woman.
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Mr. Bobbitt received three years of probation and $25,000 in restitution from the federal government in October. Prosecutors said Mr. Bobbitt was admitted to an addiction treatment program instead of jail for state punishment.

Prosecutors said Mr. Bobbitt could face five years in New Jersey state jail if he doesn’t follow the treatment and recovery program.

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