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Homeless veteran, woman plead guilty in viral $400,000 GoFundMe scam

Johnny Bobbitt talks about what his life was like while homeless in Philadelphia. (David Swanson/

Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless veteran who was part of a scam that netted $400,000 from GoFundMe donors, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Bobbitt appeared in federal court in Camden, N.J. Wednesday to admit to the fundraising fraud and said little more than “Yes, your honor,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. His partner-in-crime Katie McClure pleaded guilty to wire fraud, the outlet reported.

The 35-year-old vet plotted with McClure and her ex-boyfriend Mark D’Amico back in the fall of 2017 to spread a viral story that Bobbitt gave his last $20 to McClure, who was stranded at a gas station in Philadelphia.

The feel-good story soon turned sour when it revealed that the group allegedly spent the money on trips and luxury items.

In court, Bobbitt admitted that he opened a bank account to receive $25,000 of the donations in December 2017 with the help of D’Amico, according to the Inquirer. McClure then deposited the money, he said.

He could face six to 30 months in federal prison for the crime. McClure faces up to 33 months in prison.

The three still face conspiracy and theft by deception charges in a case brought by Burlington County prosecutors, according to the Associated Press. That case is still pending.

All 14,000 donors were refunded their money.

“While this type of behavior by an individual is extremely rare, it’s unacceptable and clearly it has consequences. Committing fraud, whether it takes place on or offline is against the law,” GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne told the Daily News in December. “We are fully cooperating and assisting law enforcement officials to recover every dollar withdrawn by Ms. McClure and Mr. D’Amico.”

Bobbitt is expected to appear for a hearing in Drug Court Friday as part of a diversionary program that allows addicts to plead guilty and receive intensive court-monitored treatment and rehabilitation instead of a criminal sentence.


© 2019 New York Daily News

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