Homeless man charged in $400,000 GoFundMe scam pleads guilty

Clay Curtis
March 7, 2019

Prosecutors say the feelgood tale that made global headlines in 2017 was predicated on a false story Bobbitt and the couple raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

"Today's plea agreements do not affect our case against Bobbitt, McClure or D'Amico, all of whom remain answerable to the state charges that have been filed against them", Burlington prosecutor's spokesman Joel Bewley said.

However, New Jersey authorities said the three instead split the money and spent lavishly, including on a auto, designer bags, and trips to Las Vegas, Disneyland, Disney World, the Grand Canyon and New York City.

Kate McClure pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison.

It is not clear if D'Amico will face federal charges.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, McClure is facing nearly three years behind bars, while Bobbitt could face between six and 30 months.

In November 2017, McClure and D'Amico allegedly created a page on GoFundMe's website detailing how Bobbitt acted as a "good Samaritan" and rescued McClure. State prosecutors charged the three in November with second-degree theft by deception.

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Coffina said nearly no part of the tale was true.

McClure said she did not know about Bobbitt's history of substance abuse until a few weeks after she met him, but did know he was homeless. D'Amico has not now been charged with federal crimes. The campaign was supposed to help Bobbitt, a homeless veteran, get back on his feet.

The story melted hearts around the world, but began to unravel once the trio began media appearances, gushing about the outpouring of online support for Bobbitt. GoFundMe refunded the money to the donors after prosecutors charged the three.

'I told Kate this was inevitable once the charges had been made public by the Prosecutor, ' her lawyer James Gerrow told the publication. He received $75,000 in the campaign, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.

McClure was being paid around $43,000 per year for the role she started in 2014, reports NJ.com.

The second-degree charge in state court carries a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison. She will be sentenced on June 19. Bobbitt's sentencing has yet to be scheduled, but he is expected to appear in Drug Court in Burlington County Friday.

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