Two admit $600,000 GoFundMe hoax about homeless man


The count of conspiracy to commit money laundering to which Bobbitt pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Johnny Bobbitt, 36, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiring to commit money laundering and Kate McClure, 28 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Prosecutors say they concocted a story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 for gas. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bobbitt accused McClure and D'Amico of keeping most of the fundraised money and using it for a new vehicle, vacations and gambling.

Prosecutors say the feelgood tale that made worldwide headlines in 2017 was predicated on a false story Bobbitt and the couple raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips. In return, McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Bobbitt, saying they wanted to pay it forward to the good Samaritan and get him off the streets. Johnny Bobbitt Jr. entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey, along with his co-defendant, Katelyn McClure, reports CBS Philadelphia.

The story warmed hearts across the country and their GoFundMe campaign raised more than $400,000 from 14,000 people - which the couple claimed would be donated to Bobbitt, for his good deed. Instead, New Jersey authorities said, the three split the money and spent lavishly, including on a vehicle, designer bags, and trips to Las Vegas, Disneyland, Disney World, the Grand Canyon and New York City. The following month, McClure and D'Amico deposited $25,000 of the proceeds into Bobbitt's account, authorities said.

At an earlier hearing county prosecutor Scott Coffina said: "The entire campaign was predicated on a lie".

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Their tale inspired thousands, but things began to unravel when Bobbitt accused McClure and D'Amico of stiffing him out of the money, causing an investigation to be launched.

McClure and D'Amico are now free on bail while they await trial.

McClure, D'Amico and Bobbitt have all plead not guilty to the state charges against them.

McClure faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She will be sentenced on June 19.

The second-degree charge in state court carries a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison.

Bobbitt will learn his sentence later this week from a drug court, which allows addicts to receive rehabilitation rather than a criminal sentence.