Homeless man in $400K GoFundMe scam avoids prison
MOUNT HOLLY — A homeless man was sentenced by a Superior Court judge on Friday to five years of probation for his part in a GoFundMe scam that raised $400,000.
Johnny Bobbitt admitted his role in creating the online campaign. As part of his sentence, he will testify against Kate McClure, a 26-year-old New Jersey woman he claimed to have given his last $20 to after she ran out of gas on Route 95 in South Philadelphia in November 2017, and her ex-boyfriend, Marc D'Amico.
The drug program Bobbitt will enter is overseen by the Superior Court and is intensely supervised. He must obtain employment, attend treatment and is subject to frequent drug tests. If he fails to follow the rules, a judge could remove him from the program and impose a five-year jail sentence.
The scam campaign was supposed to help Bobbitt, identified as a homeless veteran, get back on his feet. Instead, McClure and D'Amico spent the money on lavish trips, a car and designer handbags.
Bobbitt went public with his claims that he didn't get his cut of the donations, which led to an investigation by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.
Prosecutor Scott Coffina said Bobbitt's struggle with addiction played a factor in his sentencing.
"The proposed agreed-upon sentence, in the State’s view, provides sufficient accountability to Johnny Bobbitt for his active role in this fraud through the vigorous standards of a drug court probation, with the certainty of a five-year state prison sentence if he does not adhere to those standards and take advantage of this opportunity. This sentence affords him the chance to turn his life around. We wish him well in the program," Coffina said.
Bobbitt pleaded guilty last month to a federal money laundering conspiracy charge. McClure pleaded guilty to one federal count of wire fraud conspiracy. No sentencing date has been set for either on those federal charges.
D'Amico doesn't face any federal charges. He and McClure were charged last fall in state court with theft and conspiracy. Their case is being presented to the grand jury.
D'Amico has denied wrongdoing.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report