Homeless man Johnny Bobbitt, who sued a New Jersey couple earlier this year and accused them of spending GoFundMe money meant for him, apparently conspired with the pair to run a scam on the unsuspecting public.
NBC reports that Bobbitt, along with couple Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico, are accused of making up a story about Bobbitt using his last bit of cash to help strangers, which ended up touching the hearts of thousands of people. The couple created a GoFundMe account in 2017, claiming that they were raising funds for Bobbitt after he spent $20 to help McClure get gas when her car broke down off of a supposed dangerous area in Pennsylvania.
Not only are they accused of making the incident up, but all three are accused of stopping GoFundMe donors from gaining knowledge “that would affect their judgment about solicited contribution to that fundraising effort.”
“That’s when I met Johnny. Johnny sits on the side of the road every day, holding a sign. He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors. A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can. Using his last 20 dollars to make sure I could get home safe,” McClure posted on GoFundMe last year.
The reported scam initially worked. The couple raised over $400,000 from unsuspecting donors who were moved by the story. The trio’s plan began to break apart, however, when Bobbitt later accused the couple of failing to hand over the money meant for him. The couple, in turn, hired a lawyer and said that after they gave Bobbitt a lot of money, they were afraid to give him more after he allegedly spent the funds on drugs.
Bobbitt hired a lawyer and sued the pair for the rest of the money, claiming they were living a lavish lifestyle on funds meant for him. Authorities searched the couple’s home and seized property afterward, but the trio still wouldn’t let on about the scam.
All three suspects are facing charges of conspiracy and theft by deception. D’Amico and McClure turned themselves in on Wednesday after learning about the complaint against them. It’s unclear of Bobbitt turned himself in.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.