The Latest: Homeless veteran gets probation in GoFundMe scam
MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of a homeless man in a GoFundMe scam (all times local):
A homeless veteran has been sentenced to five years’ probation for conspiring with a New Jersey couple to scam GoFundMe donors out of $400,000.
Johnny Bobbitt was given the sentence Friday as part of a plea agreement reached with county prosecutors last month.
He must meet conditions including inpatient drug treatment and cooperation with prosecutors against his co-defendants. If he violates those conditions, he will be sentenced to five years in prison with no possibility of parole for at least 18 months.
Bobbitt made no statement in court.
He admitted helping Katelyn McClure and Mark D’Amico, McClure’s boyfriend at the time, make up a story in 2017 about Bobbitt giving McClure $20 when she was stranded on a highway in Philadelphia.
Prosecutors contend a GoFundMe campaign ostensibly set up to help Bobbitt was a lie intended to enrich all three. McClure and D’Amico allegedly used the money to buy a BMW and take expensive vacations.
McClure and Bobbitt have also pleaded guilty to federal charges and await sentencing. D’Amico and McClure were charged last fall in state court with theft and conspiracy but have yet to be indicted by a grand jury.
D’Amico has denied wrongdoing.
The homeless veteran who admitted to conspiring with a New Jersey couple in a GoFundMe scam that raised more than $400,000 faces sentencing.
Johnny Bobbitt is scheduled to appear in court in southern New Jersey Friday morning.
He pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit theft by deception and has been accepted into a drug program as part of his plea deal.
Prosecutors say Bobbitt and the couple made up a story in 2017 about him giving $20 to help Katelyn McClure when her car ran out of gas.
Bobbitt, McClure and McClure’s then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, garnered more than 14,000 GoFundMe donors.
Authorities began investigating last year after Bobbitt sued the couple for allegedly not giving him the money.
McClure has pleaded guilty to one federal count of wire fraud conspiracy.