Did Couple and Homeless Veteran Use GoFundMe to Scam Contributors?
- Author: Rogelio Becker Nov 16, 2018,
Nov 16, 2018, 0:53
But now, it has been revealed that McClure, D'Amico and Bobbitt will all face charges including conspiracy and theft by deception, NBC10 reports.
More than 14,000 people donated, many inspired by the details like Mr Bobbitt instructing Ms McClure to lock her auto doors before he returned with a can of petrol.
The couple claimed he helped McClure get petrol after she became stranded in Philadelphia previous year.
McClure and D'Amico have reportedly turned themselves in but Bobbitt remains at large.
The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the funds and parked it on land McClure's family owns in Florence.
McClure and D'Amico later created a GoFundMe page, which went viral, to supposedly pay it forward to Bobbitt. Kate McClure, a New Jersey woman, ran out of gas on an interstate ramp outside of Philadelphia.
But a Philadelphia prisons spokeswoman said Johnny Bobbitt was brought in Wednesday night by USA marshals and remained in custody Thursday on probation detainers and a $50,000 bond.
But Bobbitt believed the couple was dipping into some of the money for themselves, and in late August attorneys for him filed a lawsuit to try to force McClure, a receptionist for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and D'Amico, a carpenter, to turn over the remaining cash.
The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said the whole fundraising effort was a scam from the start, as the trio conspired the idea together to raise thousands based on a heartwarming tale, which worked in their favor.
Burlington County prosecutor Scott Coffina announced criminal charges against the couple who told the story to newspapers and television stations along with the homeless man.
"I had to make something up to make people feel bad", McClure said in a text - one of 60,000 reviewed by prosecutors - to a friend.
Prosecutors began investigating after Bobbitt claimed he was not getting the money that had been raised on his behalf.
The overwhelming response led to donations from more than 14,000 well wishers, but the couple's relationship with Mr Bobbitt eventually soured as they accused him of using the money to feed a drug habit.
Coffina noted D'Aminco and McClure were in custody since Wednesday night while Bobbitt was awaiting extradition from Philadelphia. Bobbitt's lawyer says his client received about $75,000. A previous lawyer of his didn't return a call seeking comment.
An investigation into the case was launched back in September.