Woman sentenced to prison after collecting $400K in GoFundMe scam for homeless veteran

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By Carina Murphy

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A New Jersey woman has been sentenced to prison for conducting a $400,000 GoFundMe scam.

Katelyn McClure, 32, of Bordentown, claimed to be raising money for a homeless veteran who she met when she ran out of gas - then collected the cash for herself.

After being convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, McClure was sentenced to one year and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman on Thursday (July 21), per Fox News.

McClure plotted the viral scam in November 2017 with her boyfriend at the time, 43-year-old Mark D'Amico. The pair allegedly created a crowdsource funding page titled "Paying It Forward", where they shared a story about a homeless "Good Samaritan" named Johnny Bobbitt.

They claimed that McClure met Bobbitt when she was driving home from Philadelphia on Interstate 95 and ran out of gas. According to the GoFundMe page, Bobbitt rescued McClure by using his last $20 to refill her car. McClure then claimed that, as a way of 'thanking' the veteran, she was collecting donations to help get him off the streets.

The fundraiser had an original goal of $10,000. But when it made headlines in national media outlets, it wasn't long before the crowdsource page went viral and made a whopping $400,000 in three weeks.

However, it turns out that the entire story was nothing more than a ruse by McClure and D'Amico to fund their own extravagant lifestyle. The money was transferred into their own accounts and allegedly frittered away as they lived luxuriously over the next three months, treating themselves to a BMW, jewelry, bags, and a New Year's Eve trip to Las Vegas.

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Credit: M4OS Photos / Alamy

That said, the scam wasn't a complete lie; Bobbitt was indeed implicated in the plan, per the Justice Department.

When the fundraiser began to generate widespread interest, D'Amico and McClure told Bobbitt about the campaign and the false gas story. They then gave him $25,000 of the proceeds - and kept the rest for themselves.

Alongside a prison term, McClure has been handed three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution. Her partner-in-crime D'Amico has already been sentenced in April 2022, when he was sentenced to 27 months in prison. As for Bobbitt, he too has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the scam and is awaiting sentencing.

Featured Image Credit: M4OS Photos / Alamy

Woman sentenced to prison after collecting $400K in GoFundMe scam for homeless veteran

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

A New Jersey woman has been sentenced to prison for conducting a $400,000 GoFundMe scam.

Katelyn McClure, 32, of Bordentown, claimed to be raising money for a homeless veteran who she met when she ran out of gas - then collected the cash for herself.

After being convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, McClure was sentenced to one year and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman on Thursday (July 21), per Fox News.

McClure plotted the viral scam in November 2017 with her boyfriend at the time, 43-year-old Mark D'Amico. The pair allegedly created a crowdsource funding page titled "Paying It Forward", where they shared a story about a homeless "Good Samaritan" named Johnny Bobbitt.

They claimed that McClure met Bobbitt when she was driving home from Philadelphia on Interstate 95 and ran out of gas. According to the GoFundMe page, Bobbitt rescued McClure by using his last $20 to refill her car. McClure then claimed that, as a way of 'thanking' the veteran, she was collecting donations to help get him off the streets.

The fundraiser had an original goal of $10,000. But when it made headlines in national media outlets, it wasn't long before the crowdsource page went viral and made a whopping $400,000 in three weeks.

However, it turns out that the entire story was nothing more than a ruse by McClure and D'Amico to fund their own extravagant lifestyle. The money was transferred into their own accounts and allegedly frittered away as they lived luxuriously over the next three months, treating themselves to a BMW, jewelry, bags, and a New Year's Eve trip to Las Vegas.

wp-image-1263162946 size-full
Credit: M4OS Photos / Alamy

That said, the scam wasn't a complete lie; Bobbitt was indeed implicated in the plan, per the Justice Department.

When the fundraiser began to generate widespread interest, D'Amico and McClure told Bobbitt about the campaign and the false gas story. They then gave him $25,000 of the proceeds - and kept the rest for themselves.

Alongside a prison term, McClure has been handed three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution. Her partner-in-crime D'Amico has already been sentenced in April 2022, when he was sentenced to 27 months in prison. As for Bobbitt, he too has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the scam and is awaiting sentencing.

Featured Image Credit: M4OS Photos / Alamy