A New Jersey couple has been hit with criminal charges stemming from a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $400,000 for homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt, who was also arrested in connection with the money-raising effort that now appears to be an elaborate scam, authorities said.
Mr Bobbitt and the couple first came to prominence in November 2017 when Ms McClure launched a crowdfunding Go Fund Me campaign to re-pay the debt of a homeless man who came to her aid at the side of a road.
McClure and D'Amico had started a GoFundMe campaign for Bobbitt, a homeless veteran, saying he had spent his last $20 helping McClure buy gasoline in Philadelphia. "All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign will receive a full refund", says GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne in an email to Fast Company. "It was fictitious and illegal and there are consequences".
The three were each charged with second-degree conspiracy and theft by deception.
"During one text exchange in March 2018, McClure lamented that the pair had less than $10,000 remaining", said Coffina. In return, the couple went on Megyn Kelly's show and said Bobbitt had a drug problem and was using the cash to get high.
In September, Bobbitt's attorneys said all of the money had "disappeared", and Bobbitt ended up back on the streets.
"Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn't repay him at that moment because I didn't have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks", McClure explained in her initial GoFundMe post.
D'Amico and McClure reportedly have surrendered to Burlington County prosecutors.
Bobbitt accused the couple of dipping into the funds for personal expenses and sued them over mismanagement. He later filed a lawsuit against McClure and D'Amico.
In September, police raided the couple's home. "Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn't repay him at that moment because I didn't have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks", McClure wrote on the page in November of a year ago.
Instead of an apartment, the couple bought Bobbitt a camper and a ute - but it was in their names and parked on the couple's property, and he was eventually ordered to leave.
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