Katelyn McClure is a woman from New Jersey who just received a three year prison sentence for a large GoFundMe scam that brought in over $400,000. According to police reports Katelyn McClure and her then boyfriend Mark D’Amico created a GoFundMe campaign stating that she was given $20 by a homeless man Johnny Bobbitt when she ran out of gas. Katelyn McClure and Mark D’Amico wanted to create a way to help Johnny Bobbitt get a new start in life. Needless to say a ton of people would send money to the campaign to the tune of over $400,000. Of course the money was spent on everything but the actual reason for the campaign.
Katelyn McClure would be arrested and charged with fraud and in the end would receive a three year prison sentence. Mark D’Amico would receive a five year prison sentence. Katelyn McClure and Mark D’Amico were also ordered to pay back the $400,000 to GoFundMe
Katelyn McClure More News
New Jersey woman was sentenced Friday to three years in state prison on state theft charges after previously pleading guilty over a GoFundMe scam that raised more than $400,000 in online donations.
Katelyn McClure, 32, was not present in the Mount Holly courtroom when Judge Christopher J. Garrenger handed down her sentence due to her currently serving a one-year and one-day term in federal prison in Connecticut, according to a press release from the office of the Burlington County Prosecutor. McClure’s New Jersey sentence will run concurrently with her federal one.
McClure previously worked as a state Department of Transportation worker and has been permanently barred from ever working as a public employee again.
“This sentencing brings to a close a case that defrauded more than 14,000 people whose decency and compassion for others elicited a tremendously heartwarming response to assist someone they believed was truly in need,” Prosecutor LaChia L.Bradshaw said in the press statement.
McClure was charged in 2018 alongside her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, for creating a crowdsource funding page on GoFundMe’s website titled “Paying It Forward,” wherein donors could purportedly help a homeless Philadelphia veteran named Johnny Bobbitt.
The GoFundMe scam began in 2017 after D’Amico took a photo of McClure and Bobbitt standing in front of an exit ramp in Philadelphia. The story attached to the photo detailed how Bobbitt had spent his last $20 to help McClure after she had run out of gas.
The campaign initially posted a goal of $10,000 to support Bobbitt which would cover apartment rent, a car, and six months’ worth of living expenses among other items. The three went on to conduct numerous newspaper and television interviews, with the donations eventually surpassing the goal and exceeding $400,000. Both McClure and D’Amico then spent the donations on personal expenses, including casino gambling, a BMW, and a Las Vegas trip.
All the donated funds were eventually spent within a span of just a couple of months, with Bobbitt then taking civil action against both D’Amico and McClure wherein he alleged he only received part of the funds.
D’Amico pled guilty in December 2019 and was sentenced to five years in state prison, with his term also running concurrently with a federal one. Both he and McClure have been ordered to fully reimburse GoFundMe.
Bobbitt pled guilty in March 2019 to conspiracy to commit theft by deception in the second degree and was then admitted to the New Jersey Judiciary’s Recovery Court program.
The GoFundMe scam turned out to be the “largest fraud perpetrated through the crowdfunding company” at the time, according to the press release. GoFundMe voluntarily reimbursed those who donated to the scam page.