New Jersey couple, homeless vet made up fundraising campaign

Posted November 16, 2018

Prosecutors said that Mark D'amico and Kate McClure conspired with destitute Johnny Bobbitt to create the get-rich-quick scheme in 2017.

McClure and D'Amico turned themselves in to Burlington County prosecutors on Wednesday, the source said.

D'Amico, 39, and McClure, 28, surrendered to authorities Wednesday night and were released.

"Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn't repay him at that moment because I didn't have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks", McClure wrote in her post.

Prosecutors say they will be pursuing jail time in this case. All three are facing second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Chris Fallon, Bobbitt's attorney, earlier said he had gotten about $75,000 of the cash.

In September, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office launched a criminal investigation into the missing GoFundMe donations and raided the couple's home, seizing a BMW and other belongings. "I wasn't expecting anything in return", Bobbitt, 34, told "Good Morning America". "There should be close to another $300,000 available to Johnny", Bobbitt's lawyer Chris Fallon told CNN. Inspired by his kindness, she and her boyfriend, D'Amico, set out to raise $US10,000 ($13,750), allegedly to get him on his feet.

But that story was fake, Burlington County Prosector Scott Coffina told reporters Thursday.

"The paying-it-forward story that drove this fundraiser might seem too good to be true", Coffina said at a press conference.

A criminal complaint obtained by NBC10 alleges the couple deliberately prevented donors to their GoFundMe campaign from gaining information "that would affect their judgment about solicited contribution to that fundraising effort".

GoFundMe promised Coffina it would give a full refund to all of the people who donated to the campaign for Bobbitt.

When contacted by Gizmodo, the couple's attorney, Ernest E. Badway, declined to comment on the pending charges.

Prosecutors began investigating after Bobbitt claimed he wasn't getting the money that had been raised on his behalf.

According to NBC, they all made up the viral sob story in order to scam money.

The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the funds and parked it on land McClure's family owns in Florence. "We are fully cooperating and assisting law enforcement officials to recover every dollar withdrawn by Ms. McClure and Mr. D'Amico".

D'Amico and McClure denied the allegations.

In August, Bobbitt's lawyers sued the couple for fraud, claiming that the funds McClure and D'Amico raised were never used as promised.