A homeless man and a couple from New Jersey will reportedly face charges after allegedly collaborating to fabricate an elaborate scheme compelling people to donate tens of thousands of dollars to their GoFundMe page.
The couple — Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico — first made headlines last year, when supposed homeless man Johnny Bobbitt gave McClure his last $20 after her vehicle ran out of gasoline, leaving her stranded on a highway in Philadelphia.
Presumably as a result of his act of kindness, the couple established a GoFundMe campaign, which went viral and ultimately raised more than $400,000.
Remember that Philly couple who raised over $400K for the homeless vet who gave up his last $20 b/c the lady ran out of gas? Yeah they made it all up. https://t.co/zYolahrwmq pic.twitter.com/tTBYpMaTzv
— Smitty (@SmittyBarstool) November 15, 2018
Now investigators believe the entire thing was a hoax.
All three adults — McClure, D’Amico and Bobbitt — are facing charges of conspiracy and theft by deception, according to WCAU-TV. McClure and D’Amico turned themselves in to Burlington County prosecutors Wednesday. Bobbitt, for his part, remains at large.
Initially, the heartwarming story garnered a lot of positive attention, leading to nationally televised appearances by both Bobbitt and McClure. But the entire situation started to unravel in August, when Bobbitt filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey couple for mismanagement of the donated funds.
"No money left."
Last week the couple who raised $400,000 for a homeless man, #JohnnyBobbitt, came on #MegynTODAY and swore there was still money left in the account. In an upsetting update the homeless vet's attorney says they spent all funds. pic.twitter.com/mRQ8Ci5mvW
— Megyn Kelly TODAY (@MegynTODAY) September 5, 2018
The couple denied the claims against them and instead accused Bobbitt of spending $25,000 in less than two weeks on drugs, overdue legal bills and to send money to family members.
At the time, Bobbitt’s attorney Chris Fallon said his client had only received about $75,000, while the couple’s lawyer, Ernest Badway, claimed the couple had given the homeless man some $200,000.
Tow truck removes BMW from the Bordentown, NJ property of Katie McClure & Mark D’Amico, where @BurlcoPros is serving a search warrant. The couple is being investigated over funds missing from a $400,000 GoFundMe account they started for homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/cxPcFBrw9P
— Trang Do (@TrangDoCBS3) September 6, 2018
Bobbitt was reportedly able to purchase a camper and an SUV with the cash he received. Authorities raided the couple’s home in September, when they found — and confiscated — a brand new BMW, cash and jewelry, among other things.
In September, a spokesperson for GoFundMe said Bobbitt will “get the balance of the funds that he has not yet received or benefited from.”