Homeless vet, woman plead guilty in federal court to GoFundMe scam

David Madden
March 06, 2019 - 3:52 pm
An image of Johnny Bobbitt Jr., from left, Mark D'Amico and Katelyn McClure on display during during a press conference Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 in Mount Holly, N.J.

Joe Lamberti/Courier Post via USA Today Network

Categories: 

CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Two of the three people involved in last year's GoFundMe hoax have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt, 36, and the woman he claimed to have helped with his last $20, Kate McClure, have entered guilty pleas in Camden federal court.

Bobbitt admitted to a single count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing has been deferred.

McClure, 28, pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She will be sentenced June 19 and could get up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine as well.

MORE: It was a scam: Couple, homeless vet arrested in GoFundMe investigation

The two, along with McClure’s boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, are also facing state charges in Burlington County connected to the scam, which bilked people out of more than $400,000 when a fake story about Bobbitt’s generosity went viral. 

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

In fact, Bobbitt is scheduled to appear in Burlington County drug court on Friday.

Johnny Bobbitt, Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico
Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office

The scammers claimed Bobbitt offered his last dollars to pay for gas for McClure, who was stuck off I-95. They set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the "good Samaritan," but their plan quickly unraveled. 

GoFundMe has returned donations made by about 14,000 people who were scammed. 

No federal charges have been filed yet against D’Amico.