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‘Feel good story was a sham’! New Jersey couple Mark D’Amico and Katie McClure, homeless man they pair helped with crowd funding, charged in $400K GoFundMe hoax

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‘No honor among thieves’

Heartwarming story of a couple from Florence Township, New Jersey whose GoFundMe campaign raised over $400,000 was a hoax
The scheme was supposed to lift a homeless veteran out of poverty was “completely made up …
The perpetrators aimed to make people feel bad,” prosecutors revealed Thursday
Mark D’Amico, 39, his 28-year-old girlfriend Katie McClure and ‘Homeless man’ Johnny Bobbitt were all three charged with with conspiracy and theft by deception in the massive scam
McClure and D’Amico started the online crowd funding drive Nov 2017
Vagrant Johnny Bobbitt, 35, allegedly spent his last $20 to buy McClure a tank of gas when her car broke down along I-95 outside Philadelphia
The heart-tugging tale worked, donations poured in for Bobbitt, the viral campaign netting over$400,000
The plot started to cracking over the summer, when Bobbitt,  sued McClure and D’Amico, claiming that he saw only about $75,000
The pair, neither holding down high paying jobs, allegedly blew the rest on splurges including a new BMW and designer shoes
They were also reported to have withdrawn over $85,000 in cash from ATMs at or near casinos ranging from Atlantic City to Las Vegas

The threads of the scam were undone by the eagerness of one of the participants who texted a friend, copping to the whole ruse, as soon as the crowd funding campaign went live on GoFundMe.
Related: Judge orders New Jersey couple, Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico, accused of stealing some of the $400,000 they raised for a homeless man to hand over the remaining funds and show proof of where it was spent

Couple accused of stealing some of the $400,000 they raised for a homeless man through crowd funding are told to hand over the remaining funds and show proof of previous […]
The couple, who officials said were hard up for cash themselves, had actually known Bobbitt for at least a month, occasionally spotting him $10 or a cup of coffee as he panhandled near an underpass by Philly’s SugarHouse Casino, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office said in a Thursday press briefing.
Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico started the online fund drive in November 2017, claiming that vagrant Johnny Bobbitt had spent his last $20 to buy McClure a tank of gas when her car broke down along I-95 outside Philadelphia.
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.
Johnny Bobbitt 3.jpg‘Homeless man’ Johnny Bobbitt [photo], was in on the scam from the get go

Less than an hour after the couple’s “Pay It Forward” campaign went live on GoFundMe, McClure texted a friend, copping to the whole ruse.
“Okay so wait the gas part is completely made up … But the guy isn’t,” she wrote. “I had to make something up to make people feel bad … So, shush about the made up part.”
The heart-tugging tale worked, as donations started pouring in for Bobbitt, with the viral campaign’s haul eventually blowing past $400,000.
But the plot’s feel-good veneer started to crack over the summer, when Bobbitt, 35, sued the Florence Township couple, claiming that he saw only about $75,000 as McClure, 28, and D’Amico, 39, blew the rest on splurges including a new BMW and designer shoes.
Additionally, the pair withdrew over $85,000 in cash from ATMs at or near casinos ranging from Atlantic City to Las Vegas.

Johnny Bobbitt, left, with Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico.jpgAll three chatged for fraud: ‘Homeless’ Johnny Bobbitt, [left], with Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico. It turns out the couple, who investigators said were hard up for cash themselves, had actually known Bobbitt for at least a month, before the put the scheme into play

D’Amico and McClure countered that they were holding out for Bobbitt’s own good because they accused him of relapsing into his drug addiction.
They have claimed they’ve spent half the funds on housing and other expenses for Bobbitt, who has been living under a bridge and panhandling, saying they were holding the rest until he’s off drugs.
The couple turned themselves in to authorities Wednesday, while Bobbitt was arrested in Philadelphia.
All three are charged with conspiracy and theft by deception.
D’Amico and McClure were processed and released late Wednesday, while Bobbitt is awaiting extradition to New Jersey.
All donors who contributed to the campaign will be refunded by GoFundMe, the company announced Thursday.

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