BETTING À DAY
A New Jersey man has been sentenced to five years in prison for being involved in a GoFundMe scam, creating a fake story about a homeless man that raised $400,000.< /strong>
It was with his then-girlfriend, Katelyn McClure, that Mark D'Amico made up a story that homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. gave McClure $20 when she ran out of gas on a Philadelphia freeway in 2017.
The 43-year-old and his ex-wife started a fundraiser to help asking for donations to help the homeless man rent an apartment and buy a car, according to the Burlington County District Attorney's Office.
The story went so viral that the original $10,000 goal was quickly surpassed, allowing the instigators to reach over $400,000 in donations.
The money was spent elsewhere, however. by McClure and D'Amico, “for casino games and personal items such as a BMW, a New Year's trip to Las Vegas, a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, and Louis Vuitton handbags ”, according to the authorities.
The pot of roses was exposed, however, when the homeless veteran filed a lawsuit against them in 2018, accusing them of withholding most of the funds by only offering him $75,000.
“ People sincerely wanted to believe it was true,” said Burlington District Attorney LaChia L. Bradshaw. “But it was just a lie, and it was illegal. Our office is happy to do justice to the more than 14,000 kind-hearted people who thought they were helping someone who was living in desperate circumstances.”
In addition to the jail sentence, D'Amico must also return all funds to GoFundMe.
Bobbitt had pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to steal by deception in the second degree and is undergoing treatment for addiction issues in the rehabilitation court program. New Jersey bench.
McClure also pleaded guilty to the same charge a month later and has already received a one-year jail sentence in federal court. She must also receive a sentence from the State of New Jersey.