Did Couple and Homeless Veteran Use GoFundMe to Scam Contributors?

Johnny Bobbitt left with Kate Mc Clure and Mark D'Amico

- A news conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office to announce findings in an investigation of a homeless veteran and the couple who raised money for him through a GoFundMe campaign.

The original tale went like this: in 2017, an attractive woman, Kate McClure, ran out of gas getting off the highway, and a homeless US Marine veteran, 34-year-old Johnny Bobbitt Jr., approached her auto and offered her his last $20 so that she could get home.

Prosecutors say they will be pursuing jail time in this case. "It was fictitious and illegal and there are consequences".

A Philadelphia prisons spokeswoman says Johnny Bobbitt was brought in Wednesday night by USA marshals and remained in custody Thursday on probation detainers and a $50,000 bond. He said authorities found more than 60,000 texts between McClure and D'Amico about their financial woes, discussing their inability to pay their bills and their increasing debts.

In an effort to thank Bobbitt for the kind gesture, McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, created a GoFundMe account for him, which ultimately raised $400,000 from more than 14,000 people.

Last fall, social media was abuzz with the story of McClure and D'Amico's seeming act of kindness. McClure and D'Amico had met Bobbitt near a casino they frequented and had known him for about a month before the GoFundMe campaign went live, he said.

"Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn't repay him at that moment because I didn't have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks", McClure explained in her initial GoFundMe post.

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Now, investigators say it was all a ploy to raise money. So he made a decision to sue the couple for fraud in August. The money, Bobbitt said, would change his life.

All donors who contributed to the campaign will be refunded by GoFundMe, the company announced Thursday.

Bobbitt received $75,000, and within months McClure and D'Amico had "squandered" their share to buy a auto, high-end handbags and trips, Coffina said.

An attorney for Bobbitt could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mark D'Amico, Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt will face charges including conspiracy and theft by deception, according to the source.

The relationship between the three soured in August when Mr Bobbitt brought legal action against the couple, alleging they were using the funds as their personal "piggy bank" to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

GoFundMe had said Bobbit would get the balance of the donations no matter how the money was spent.