GoFundMe Returns Over $400,000 Scammed By New Jersey Grifters - Printable Version

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GoFundMe Returns Over $400,000 Scammed By New Jersey Grifters - Zero Hedge - 12-25-2018

GoFundMe Returns Over $400,000 Scammed By New Jersey Grifters

<p>GoFundMe has returned over $400,000 to people who donated to a trio of scam artists who fabricated a story about a homeless good Samaritan. </p>
<figure role="group" class="caption caption-img"><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/sites/default/files/inline-images/grifters_0.jpg?itok=54_xUiUF" data-link-option="0" href=""><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="11d2ed6c-99a4-4bf2-b41d-1254aa3d4f90" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="281" src="" srcset=" 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" width="500" /></a>
<figcaption><em>39-year-old Mark D'Amico (left), 28-year-old Kate McClure (center) and 35-year-old Johnny Bobbitt (right) are facing theft and conspiracy charges.</em></figcaption></figure><p>"<strong>All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded</strong>," GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said in an email, adding that "while this type of behavior by an individual is extremely rare, it's unacceptable and clearly it has consequences."</p>

<p>The company is fully cooperating with investigators. </p>

<p>Kate McClure, 28, Mark D'Amico, 39, and drug-addicted homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt, 35, were charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception in November, after the three concocted a story that Bobbitt had given McClure his last $20 after her car ran out of fuel, leaving her stranded on the side of I-95 in a dangerous Philadelphia neighborhood. </p>

<p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/sites/default/files/inline-images/7SJZDIoO.jpg?itok=JHLGo_6i" data-link-option="0" href=""><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="32383061-47c7-4dc2-adce-558e56c2d6eb" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="262" width="500" srcset=" 1x" src="" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></a></p>

<p>The GoFundMe scam was uncovered after McClure and D'Amico refused to give Bobbitt over $300,000 of the $402,000 raised - causing Bobbit to lawyer up, alleging that the couple <strong>committed fraud and conspiracy by taking large amounts of the donations to "enjoy a lifestyle they could not afford" and using the account as "their personal piggy bank."</strong></p>

<p>The net proceeds were $360,000 after fees, which went into an account controlled by McClure. Bobbitt received approximately $75,000 of it according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.</p>

<p>"<strong>The entire campaign was predicated on a lie</strong>," said Coffina during a November press conference. "Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was fake," he said. </p>

<p itemprop="articleBody">In one of the texts read by Coffina, McClure allegedly wrote to a friend, "Ok, so wait, the gas part is completely made up but the guy isn't. I had to make something up to make people feel bad. So, shush about the made up stuff." -<a href="">ABC</a></p>

<p>After the story went sideways - <strong>and reports emerged that the couple had pilfered most of the money meant for Bobbitt, </strong>police raided McClure and D'Amico's home looking for evidence in the case, and seizing a BMW they bought with charitable donations. </p>

<p>Coffina said that <b>if Bobbitt hadn't sued, the three might have gotten away with the scam</b>. </p>

<p>D'Amico and McClure turned themselves in last month according to <a href=""><em>WPVI</em></a>, while Bobbit was arrested in Philadelphia on charges of being a fugitive from justice. </p>

<p>McClure, a receptionist for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, has turned on D'Amico - a carpenter, claiming that she "was used by Mr. D’Amico and Mr. Bobbitt, and she thought throughout that this money was going to a homeless veteran."</p>

<p>D'Amico's attorney says he is surprised by her defense. </p>

<p>"I don't know how Kate is playing the victim now. I will be curious to see how this defense plays out for her in court," he said. </p><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>