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A New Jersey woman was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in a $400,000 GoFundMe scam. in which she and her then-boyfriend lied about helping a homeless man in Philadelphia.
Katelyn McClure, 32, was not present at her sentencing in Burlington County because she is already serving her one-year federal sentence in the case in a Connecticut prison, according to the Burlington County prosecutor’s office.
Your state judgment will run concurrently and the former New Jersey Department of Transportation worker will be permanently barred from working as a public employee in the state.
In 2017, McClure and her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud after they fabricated a touching but false story that a homeless veteran, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., had just spent his last $20 to help. McClure filled her gas tank while she was stranded on I-95 in Philadelphia.
The couple launched a GoFundMe campaign titled “Paying it Forward,” which the donors believed was to get Bobbitt off the streets and into a home.
The story quickly gained traction when McClure and D’Amico did interviews with local and national news outlets. In less than a month, they had scammed more than 14,000 donors out of $400,000.
The funds were transferred from GoFundMe to the couple’s personal accounts. The two of them spent most of the money over the next three months on personal expenses.
The couple told Bobbitt about the false tale they had made up and the money, which he was unaware of. In December 2017, officials say D’Amico opened a bank account for Bobbitt and the two deposited $25,000 into the account.
D’Amico, 43, pleaded guilty in December 2019 and was sentenced to five years in state prison, a term that also coincides with a previous federal term. Both he and McClure were ordered to fully reimburse GoFundMe.
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