Homeless man and couple allegedly made up story for GoFundMe fundraiser

GoFundMe refunds $400K in fake good Samaritan scam

GoFundMe has announced the company has paid those who wanted to help out a homeless veteran who helped a stranded motorist a refund after it was found out that the motorist, her boyfriend and the homeless veteran had lied about their story.

Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico had said last year that McClure had run out of gas while driving in New Jersey. Homeless vet Johnny Bobbitt came to her rescue and got her gas with his last $20. Their story went viral, and tens of thousands of donors gave money via GoFundMe to help reward Bobbitt, media outlets reported at the time

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But the story was all part of a planned scam among the trio who are accused of bilking strangers out of more than $400,000, CBS News reported

Bobbitt, McClure and D’Amico are all now facing charges that were announced in November.  Each person faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted of theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception, CBS News reported.

FILE - This November 2018 file combination of photos provided by the Burlington County Prosecutors office shows Johnny Bobbitt, left, Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico. On Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, GoFundMe says it has made refunds to everyone who contributed to a campaign involving homeless veteran Bobbitt who prosecutors allege schemed with a New Jersey couple, McClure and D'Amico, to scam donors out of $400,000.
Photo: Burlington County Prosecutors Office via AP, File/AP

GoFundMe has given the 14,000 donors their money back. The online fundraising company used the business’ own money to pay it back, including the fee it collects of 2.9 percent per donation and an additional 30 cents, CBS News reported.

GoFundMe spokesperson, Bobby Whithorne, told USA Today, “All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded” and the company is cooperating with law enforcement. 

But he said this case is out of the ordinary, saying cases like these “make up less than one-tenth of 1 percent” of GoFundMe campaigns, USA Today reported.

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