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CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt and Katelyn McClure pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court for their roles in a $400,000 GoFundMe scam. Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, started the fundraising campaign in 2017 after claiming that Bobbitt gave McClure his last $20 to buy gas.
Both Bobbitt and McClure pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. D’Amico has been charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.
According to authorities, D’Amico and McClure had known Bobbitt for at least a month before launching the GoFundMe in November 2017, and had become acquainted with Bobbitt during their frequent trips to a local gambling casino.
The fundraising campaign raised nearly $403,000 through over 14,000 donors. GoFundMe said all donors would receive a full refund.
Officials say the investigation revealed that the couple spent the money raised through the GoFundMe on a BMW, a New Year’s trip to Las Vegas and high-end hand bags, among other items. The couple also allegedly withdrew over $85,000 in cash at casinos located in Atlantic City, Bensalem, Philadelphia and Las Vegas.
All the money had allegedly been spent within a few months of the campaign’s creation.
According to officials, Bobbitt took legal action against the couple when he learned that all the money had been squandered. He claims he received $75,000 of the funds, including an over $18,000 trailer purchased for him and parked at the couple’s Bordentown home.
In September, a search warrant was executed at the couple’s home where investigators took evidence bags out of their home and authorities also towed away a black BMW.