NJ Couple and Homeless Man in GoFundMe Controversy Accused of Making Up Story, Source Says - NBC 7 San Diego
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NJ Couple and Homeless Man in GoFundMe Controversy Accused of Making Up Story, Source Says

Mark D'Amico, Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt will face charges including conspiracy and theft by deception, according to the source.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NJ Couple and Homeless Man to Be Charged With Lying About GoFundMe Story

    A New Jersey couple and a homeless man will face charges that they lied about a Good Samaritan story in order to raise more than $400,000 on GoFundMe.

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018)

    EDITOR'S NOTE: The newest version of this story can be found here, including the confirmed arrest and extradition of Johnny Bobbitt Jr. by Philadelphia police on Wednesday night. It will also host the livestream of a 2 p.m. press conference by prosecutors making a major announcement in the case at Old Burlington County Courthouse.

    The New Jersey couple who became famous for raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a homeless man after he helped with their disabled car — as did the homeless man himself — will all face charges for allegedly providing a false story in order to raise money for themselves, a source familiar with the case told NBC10.

    Mark D'Amico, Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt Jr. will face charges including conspiracy and theft by deception, according to the source.

    A complaint obtained by NBC10 alleges that the three conspired with one another to make up a false story in order to raise more than $400,000.

    Investigators say the three deliberately prevented donors for their GoFundMe campaign from gaining information "that would affect their judgment about solicited contribution to that fundraising effort."

    D'Amico and McClure turned themselves in Wednesday to Burlington County prosecutors, the source said. The source did not confirm whether or not Bobbitt turned himself in as well.

    A lawyer for the couple had no comment Thursday. NBC10 has also reached out to a lawyer for Bobbitt for comment.

    The three initially gained fame in 2017. The couple claimed Bobbitt used $20 to help McClure get gas when her car ran out on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. McClure and D'Amico then launched a GoFundMe page to supposedly raise money for Bobbitt, and the page brought in over $400,000 from 14,000 contributors.

    At first, the account led to appearances for Bobbitt and McClure on national TV programs. But it turned into a dispute over the money.

    Bobbitt accused the couple of dipping into the funds and using them as a "personal piggy bank" to bankroll a lifestyle they couldn't afford.

    Bobbitt later sued the couple over mismanagement of the funds and a judge ordered sworn statements to determine what happened to the cash, which Bobbitt's attorney, Chris Fallon, said had disappeared.

    Johnny Bobbitt Jr., a homeless man involved in an expanding criminal probe of a GoFundMe campaign, in Philadelphia in 2018.
    Photo credit: David Swanson/The Philadelphia Inquirer

    The couple denied any wrongdoing and accused Bobbitt of spending $25,000 in less than two weeks last year on drugs as well as paying for overdue legal bills and sending money to family.

    The couple's lawyer, Ernest Badway, later said Bobbitt had gotten about $200,000. But Fallon said his client had received only about $75,000.

    The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the cash and parked it on land McClure's family owns in New Jersey. But Bobbitt became homeless again after D'Amico told him in June that he had to leave the property.

    In September, police raided the couple's home in Florence, New Jersey, hauling away a new BMW on a flatbed truck. Badway said that all the couple's personal and business financial statements, along with jewelry and cash, were seized in the raid.

    At that point, officials said the couple was under investigation, though no charges had been filed.

    D'Amico was arrested in September in Burlington County on an unrelated $500 warrant for an October 2017 traffic stop, according to officials. At the time, he was driving on a suspended license and also had a broken tail light. He also failed to appear in court on two separate occassions, according to court records.