Woman Who Helped Boyfriend With Fake Viral Fundraiser for Homeless Man Gets 3-Year State Sentence [Video]
A woman who helped her boyfriend create a viral fundraiser for a homeless man has been sentenced to three years in the state prison.
In November 2017, a video of the homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt, using his last $20 to buy gas for a woman, Kate McClure, who was stranded on the side of a highway went viral. In response, McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help Bobbitt. The fundraiser was started with the intention of helping Bobbitt get back on his feet, but instead it became a global phenomenon, resulting in more than 400,000 donors raising $402,000.
However, the success of the fundraiser was fraught with controversy as there were allegations of mismanagement of funds by D’Amico and McClure. In early 2019, Bobbitt sued the couple for mismanaging the funds and a court ordered them to return the remaining money on the GoFundMe page after it was discovered that they had spent it.
In May, McClure was charged with conspiracy to commit theft by deception and misapplication of entrusted property. She pleaded guilty and was given a three-year prison sentence, with some of the sentence being suspended and probation to follow.
McClure’s sentence has been a controversial topic. Some believe that she was unfairly charged and made an example of as she was the only person charged for the mismanagement of the funds. Others believe that although McClure wasn’t the only one at fault, she should have been held more accountable for her role in the scam.
No matter where one stands on the issue, one thing is for certain: the story of the viral fundraiser is a cautionary tale of the power of the internet. While it can be used for good, it can also be used to deceive and scam people. It is important for donors to do their due diligence when donating to online fundraisers, especially if the story is too good to be true.
The video of the woman who helped her boyfriend with the fake viral fundraiser for the homeless man has gone viral itself and serves as a reminder of the consequences of careless fundraising. Woman Who Helped Boyfriend With Fake Viral Fundraiser for Homeless Man Gets 3-Year State Sentence [Video]: #LeakedVideo #videoViral #ViralVideo #trendingVideo #TiktokTrend #LeakedVideos #LeakedTape #SexTapeVideo
Prosecutors said Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend at the time spun a tale that helped them raise more than $400000 for a homeless man.
As previously (and widely) reported, the scam in question revolves around a swiftly-made-viral story in 2017 in which a homeless man was alleged to have offered his last $20 to Katelyn McClure of Burlington Township after she ran out of gas. All told, per the Office of the Burlington County Prosecutor, more than $400,000 was subsequently raised from donors who thought they were giving money to the homeless man at the center of the story, Johnny Bobbitt.
Last Friday, Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw said that McClure had been sentenced to three years in state prison for her involvement in the scam. McClure’s sentencing, notably, marks the “third and final” such development in the case at the state level. Additionally, McClure’s three-year state sentence will run concurrent with her previously announced federal sentence of one year and one day.
In 2019, McClure pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception in state court and admitted to having “advanced the false narrative” of the viral story. At the time, McClure said she had done so at the direction of her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico. Both D’Amico and Bobbitt both previously pleaded guilty at the state and federal level to their involvement with the scam, as well.
In October, Bobbitt received a federal sentence of three years probation. At the state level, he pleaded guilty in 2019 to second-degree conspiracy to commit theft by deception and was placed into a state-operated addiction recovery program. McClure and D’Amico, meanwhile, are required to pay restitution in the amount of the fraudulently raised funds.