A New Jersey woman, who concocted the story of a homeless man gifting her $20 after running out of gas, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison last week.
Katelyn McClure (32), pleaded guilty previously to one federal charge of conspiracy to defraud wire fraud in connection to a GoFundMe scam that raised nearly $400,000 from people who believed they were donating money to a Good Samaritan.
McClure was also sentenced to three years of probation after release from prison and is required to pay restitution.
Katelyn McClure pleaded guilty to 1 count of theft by deception in the 2nd degree. She has been sentenced to one year and a day in prison for her role in scamming more than $400,000 from GoFundMe donors, claiming to be collecting money for a homeless man.https://t.co/gaX8iNw6O3
— Patricia Strong (@Patrykia) July 25, 2022
McClure’s story of getting stranded in Philadelphia on Interstate 95 was virtualized in 2017. Johnny Bobbitt Jr. gave McClure $20. Mark D’Amico, her then-boyfriend, shared their encounter online. They also included a roadside picture of McClure and Bobbitt. The GoFundMe was created to help a veteran who is homeless.
Fundraising efforts raised approximately $367,000 through more than 14,000 donations.
Then, McClure and D’Amico went wild, buying a BMW, jewelry, purses and funding a New Year’s Eve trip to Las Vegas, according to prosecutors. Bobbitt only saw about $25,000.
Eventually, their story unraveled: McClure and D’Amico had stumbled across Bobbitt a month early while he was panhandling and came up with the plan.
D’Amico previously pleaded guilty to federal charges and was sentenced to 27 months in prison in April. Bobbitt also pleaded guilty and is still awaiting sentencing.
All three co-conspirators also faced state charges.