N.J. man pleads guilty to fraud in GoFundMe scam said to help homeless man

The New Jersey man who helped fabricate a heartwarming story a few homeless veteran and raised lots of of 1000’s of {dollars} for him by means of a web-based fundraiser pleaded responsible Monday in federal court docket to wire fraud, authorities stated. 

In keeping with a plea settlement filed in U.S. District Court docket in New Jersey, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss a number of costs in opposition to Mark D’Amico, 42, over the “Paying It Ahead” scheme that raised $400,000 from 14,000 individuals 4 years in the past. 

D’Amico, who already admitted to committing state crimes in 2019, pleaded responsible to a single rely of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He faces as much as 20 years in jail.

His then-girlfriend, Katelyn McClure, and the homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., additionally pleaded responsible to federal crimes within the case and are awaiting sentencing.

D’Amico and McClure created the fictional marketing campaign in November 2017 on GoFundMe. Bobbitt had given McClure his final $20 after she ran out of fuel on Interstate 95 whereas driving dwelling from Philadelphia, they claimed, they usually needed to lift $10,000 to assist get Bobbitt off the streets.

The story was false, but it surely rapidly went viral and raised practically half one million {dollars}. D’Amico and McClure spent “important quantities” of the proceeds on playing, holidays and luxurious items, prosecutors stated.

Prosecutors have stated they consider Bobbitt was a homeless veteran, however that the trio was complicit in fabricating the yarn about him serving to McClure.

Their story unraveled when Bobbitt sued the couple in 2018, claiming he was again on the streets as a result of the couple had mismanaged the funds.