NJ woman pleads guilty in $400K GoFundMe scam with homeless vet Johnny Bobbitt

American Military News | 11/17/2017 | Jan Hefler - The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Three days after Johnny Bobbitt Jr. was sentenced for his role in a GoFundMe campaign that netted $402,706 and defrauded donors with a fake Good Samaritan tale, Katelyn McClure appeared before the same judge in Superior Court in Mount Holly to admit her role in a conspiracy that preyed on people’s sympathies.

McClure, 29, of Bordentown, pleaded guilty Monday before Judge Christopher Garrenger as part of an agreement that calls for her to face a four-year prison term. McClure admitted that she and her ex-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, befriended Bobbitt, 36, a former homeless veteran, outside a Philadelphia casino. She said the couple then made up a story about Bobbitt offering her his last $20 when she ran out of gas off I-95 in Philadelphia, in an area where he had been panhandling in November 2017.

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She said D’Amico, 39, of Florence, told her that “this was for Johnny and if I did it, it would help Johnny out.” She said she and D’Amico had given Bobbitt money when he was panhandling and even brought him small gifts.

Under McClure’s agreement with county prosecutors, she admitted to a single charge of theft by deception, which would be downgraded to a third-degree crime. In return, a conspiracy charge would be dropped. She also agreed to testify against D’Amico and Bobbitt, and to cooperate with authorities.

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Sentencing is scheduled for June 3 in the Burlington County courthouse.

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More than 14,000 donors across the country and beyond contributed to the GoFundMe campaign and were led to believe the money would be used to help get Bobbitt, who served in the Marine Corps, off the streets. The three appeared on national TV and radio shows to promote their Paying It Forward campaign, which went viral over the holiday season.

McClure calmly answered questions posed by her defense attorney, James Gerrow,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: American Military News
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