Burlington County, NJ, Man Admits Role in 2017 GoFundMe Scam
Some five years later, a Burlington County man has admitted his role in a massive GoFundMe scheme that raised nearly $400,000 from people on the internet that was intended to help a homeless man.
42-year-old Mark D’Amico, formerly of Bordentown, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Two other people that were involved, Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt, Jr., pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, respectively; they continue to await sentencing.
Authorities say five years ago this month, D’Amico and McClure created a GoFundMe page that was supposed to benefit Bobbitt, a homeless veteran.
Honig's office continues,
D’Amico and McClure posted a story that McClure was driving home from Philadelphia on Interstate 95 and ran out of gas. Bobbitt acted as a good Samaritan and rescued McClure by using his last $20 to buy gasoline for her. The website stated that funds were being solicited, with a goal of $10,000, to get Bobbitt off the streets and provide living expenses for him.
The story, which was not true, quickly gained national attention, and nearly $400,000 was raised thanks to the generosity of some 14,000 people.
Instead of helping Bobbitt, much of the money, "was quickly spent by D’Amico and McClure on personal expenses over the next three months, including significant amounts by D’Amico for gambling, as well as for vacations, a BMW automobile, clothing, handbags and other personal items and expenses," according to authorities.
The charge of wire fraud conspiracy carries up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is set for March 28th.