New Jersey woman pleads guilty in 'feel good' GoFundMe scam

A New Jersey woman pleaded guilty Monday to helping swindle thousands of GoFundMe donors out of more than $400,000 with what authorities called a "fairy tale narrative."

Katelyn McClure, 29, pleaded guilty to theft by deception and will serve a four-year term in state prison, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Prosecutors have said that McClure and Mark D'Amico, 39, fabricated the "feel good story" about a 36-year-old homeless veteran, Johnny Bobbitt, who gave the couple his last $20 after they ran out of gas on Interstate 95.

McClure and D'Amico created a GoFundMe campaign that aimed to raise $10,000 to get Bobbitt off the streets.

The then-couple raked in $402,000 from 14,000 donors — a sum authorities say they quickly spent on gambling, a BMW and a trip to Las Vegas, among other things.

8 PHOTOS
Homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt's GoFundMe scandal
See Gallery
Homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt's GoFundMe scandal

Kate McClure and homeless Marine veteran, Johnny Bobbitt.

(Photo: GoFundMe)

MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Mark D'Amico, Kate McClure and Megyn Kelly on Monday, August 27, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Attempts to reach Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico have been unsuccessful. No trespassing sign sits in front of their… https://t.co/xjeU8lY8lC
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Mark D'Amico, Kate McClure and Megyn Kelly on Monday, August 27, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
ICYMI: EDITORIAL: "We don’t know who is at fault here. Everyone, probably. But rather than condemn, let’s congratul… https://t.co/ZdYIGGLmaP
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Mark D'Amico, Kate McClure and Megyn Kelly on Monday, August 27, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
ALL GONE: Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico, the people who tried to help John Bobbitt get back on his feet, were order… https://t.co/V6yLaNR1c0
Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless man, just won in court after Kate McClure and her boyfriend allegedly misused some of th… https://t.co/0TAK8LtMJA
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Bobbitt pleaded guilty in March to second-degree theft by deception and was admitted to a drug treatment program last week, the prosecutor's office said.

Bobbitt and McClure have agreed to pay $402,000 in restitution and to testify against D'Amico, who is also set to face theft and conspiracy charges in the case, authorities said.

The prosecutor's office said those charges will be presented to a grand jury next month for a possible indictment.

A lawyer who has represented D'Amico did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.