Couple, homeless man charged with faking story that earned $400k in donations

U.S. & World

PHILADELPHIA, PA (NBC News) — A New Jersey couple and a homeless man who used a GoFundMe page to raise $400,000 dollars now all face criminal charges.

Prosecutors tell WCAU, Mark D’amico and Kate McClure conspired with destitute Johnny Bobbitt to create the get-rich-quick scheme in 2017.

The couple created a GoFundMe page, claiming the homeless, drug addict Bobbitt spent his last $20 to fill up McClure’s empty gas tank after her car broke down.

The charity campaign exploded, raising tens of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting donors in a matter of days.
 
All three face charges of conspiracy and theft by deception for working together to create the alleged ruse. 

The couple turned themselves in to authorities on Wednesday, but Bobbitt is still at large.

Back in August, the feel-good story that went viral on the internet turned into a feud. Bobbitt’s lawyer said a large portion of money never reached his client.

“From what I can see, the GoFundMe account raised $402,000 and GoFundMe charged a fee of approximately $30,000. Mark D’Amico and Kate McClure gave Johnny about $75,000. There should be close to another $300,000 available to Johnny,” Bobbitt’s lawyer Chris Fallon told CNN.

Authorities began an investigation and in Spetember they executed a search warrant at the home of Mark D’Amico and Katelyn McClure. Detectives towed away a BMW and removed bags and boxes of items from the couple’s home. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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