Remember the feel-good story about the New Jersey couple who helped the homeless vet last year with a GoFundMe campaign after he gave the woman his last $20 when she ran out of gas? Well it turns out that the whole thing was a big scam concocted by the three to deceive generous donors.
Last year this feel-good story went viral when Johnny Bobbitt Jr., a homeless Marine veteran, gave a Philadelphia woman his last $20 when she ran out of gas on a freeway ramp. The woman was Kate McClure. And after Bobbitt gave her the money she was supposedly so touched that she and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, started a GoFundMe page for the homeless man.
“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 said last year.
The GoFundMe campaign ended up raising more than $402,000. Over 14,000 kind-hearted Americans donated to the fund for the good Samaritan homeless man.
“He will never have to worry about a roof over his head again!!” the couple later posted on GoFundMe while thanking “everyone who had a part of this amazing ride.”
Then in late August Bobbitt filed a lawsuit against the couple, claiming that they had not given him all of the money that was raised for him. And Bobbitt accused the couple of dipping into the money to buy themselves a new BMW and lavish vacations.
The couple denied the allegations at the time but said that they had withheld money from Bobbitt because they feared he would blow it all on drugs.
Then in September GoFundMe promised that Bobbitt would receive all of the funds raised.
But on Thursday NBC News reported that the entire thing was a giant scam concocted by the couple and Bobbitt to trick good people into giving them money.
Prosecutors now allege that McClure, D’Amico, and Bobbitt worked together to concoct the “fictitious story.”
NBC Philadelphia obtained the complaint which says that the three came up with the story in order to deceive generous donors. They then kept up the ruse by keeping donors from seeing information that might affect their judgement of the campaign and “by failing to correct their story,” the complaint says.
Bobbitt was taken into custody and D’Amico and McClure turned themselves into the authorities on Wednesday. The three are expected to face charges that include theft by deception and conspiracy.