Woman Who Helped Boyfriend With Fake Viral Fundraiser for Homeless Man Gets 3-Year State Sentence

Image via Office of the Burlington County Prosecutor
Image via Office of the Burlington County Prosecutor

A 32-year-old New Jersey woman has received a three-year state sentence in connection with a GoFundMe scam in which hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised.

As previously (and widely) reported, the scam in question revolves around a swiftly-made-viral story in 2017 in which a homeless man was alleged to have offered his last $20 to Katelyn McClure of Burlington Township after she ran out of gas. All told, per the Office of the Burlington County Prosecutor, more than $400,000 was subsequently raised from donors who thought they were giving money to the homeless man at the center of the story, Johnny Bobbitt.

Last Friday, Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw said that McClure had been sentenced to three years in state prison for her involvement in the scam. McClure’s sentencing, notably, marks the “third and final” such development in the case at the state level. Additionally, McClure’s three-year state sentence will run concurrent with her previously announced federal sentence of one year and one day.

In 2019, McClure pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception in state court and admitted to having “advanced the false narrative” of the viral story. At the time, McClure said she had done so at the direction of her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico. Both D’Amico and Bobbitt both previously pleaded guilty at the state and federal level to their involvement with the scam, as well.

In October, Bobbitt received a federal sentence of three years probation. At the state level, he pleaded guilty in 2019 to second-degree conspiracy to commit theft by deception and was placed into a state-operated addiction recovery program. McClure and D’Amico, meanwhile, are required to pay restitution in the amount of the fraudulently raised funds.

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