Couple and homeless veteran allegedly scammed GoFundMe donors out of $400K

FILE Johnny Bobbitt was reportedly homeless and addicted to drugs in November 2017 when he gave his last $20 to Kate McClure a stranded motorist on the side of the road in Philadelphia

Bobbitt's attorney, Christopher Fallon Jr., did not immediately respond to our request for comment. McClure wrote she had noticed Bobbitt while she was walking to the gas station, and he told her to go back to her auto while he went to the station, purchased a can of gas for her with his last $20, and brought it back to her.

It was off the same exit ramp to the casino that McClure and Bobbitt posed for a touching photo together after Bobbitt supposedly came to her rescue with the gas money - which officials now say was anything but spur-of-the-moment.

On Thursday afternoon, Burlington County prosecutors announced formal charges against Johnny Bobbitt, Mark D'Amico and Kate McClure.

Bobbitt later accused the couple of withholding the money.

McClure and D'Amico began a GoFundMe campaign so they could "do something special" for Bobbitt, they said. It's unclear exactly what parts of the story were allegedly made up, but NBC claims that the charges will include conspiracy and theft by deception.

D'Amico and McClure turned themselves in to authorities Wednesday, but Bobbitt remains at large.

D'Amico and McClure said that because Bobbitt was a junkie, they were hanging onto his cash for safe keeping. "Unfortunately, it was. The entire campaign was predicated on a lie", the prosecutor said, adding that less than an hour after posting the GoFundMe page, McClure texted a friend that the story was fake.

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Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina planned to discuss the matter during a news conference. "I had to make something up to make people feel bad ..."

GoFundMe, which gave Bobbitt $20,000 in September as financial assistance during the investigation of the case, said Thursday that it will fully refund all the money raised to donors.

McClure said that in an attempt to thank Bobbitt for his help, she set up the fundraising page, which brought in more than $400,000 United States and landed them in the national and global news.

D'Amico and McClure surrendered to authorities Wednesday night and were released. He later filed a lawsuit against McClure and D'Amico. Bobbitt's attorney said then that the veteran had only seen $75,000 of the total $402,706 raised by 14,347 people.

A criminal complaint obtained by NBC10 alleges the couple deliberately prevented donors to their GoFundMe campaign from gaining information "that would affect their judgment about solicited contribution to that fundraising effort".

And when D'Amico appeared in court on unrelated traffic charges in September, he told a reporter that everything in the GoFundMe case would soon become 'crystal clear'.

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