A GoFundMe scam has been unraveled as a homeless man and New Jersey couple faked heart-warming story to scam donors of $400,000.
Officials say the viral story of a homeless man’s selfless act — giving his last $20 to a stranded motorist — was actually an elaborate ruse designed to enrich a scheming threesome, who pocketed nearly half a million dollars in donations before a squabble over the money unraveled the plot.
The homeless man had in August sued the couple for not giving him the money they raised, though the whole scheme has been exposed.
From heartwarming story to hoax in less than a year
A 2017 tale about a Philadelphia man’s compassionate gesture was, in fact, only the basis for a scam, according to a complaint obtained by NBC 10 Philadelphia. New Jersey couple Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico publicly posted about Johnny Bobbitt’s alleged good deed and started a GoFundMe campaign to “thank him.” But the group’s greed ended up doing them in, officials said.
Investigators claim the three deceived donors by preventing them from gaining information “that would affect their judgment about solicited contribution to that fundraising effort,” the news station reported. The trio was charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception on Nov. 15, Burlington County prosecutors announced.
On Thursday, October 15, Kate McClure, 28, Mark D’Amico, 39, and Johnny Bobbitt Jr, 34, were all charged with second degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception in New Jersey.
They all now face between five and ten years behind bars.