A news release from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office states that Mark D’Amico, 43, was also mandated to pay GoFundMe full compensation.
In 2017, D’Amico and his ex-girlfriend Katelyn McClure set up a GoFundMe page after McClure claimed she ran out of gas close to a Philadelphia freeway and met Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless veteran who gave her his last $20 to buy petrol. The drive to raise money for Bobbitt to rent an apartment and purchase a car went viral because the narrative was so inspiring.
The trio’s story made national news, garnered more than 14,000 donations, and put them on television.
The money was spent by D’Amico and McClure “on casino gambling and personal items like a BMW, a New Year’s vacation to Las Vegas, a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, and Louis Vuitton handbags,” according to the prosecutor’s office. The money’s value considerably exceeded the $10,000 target.
According to investigators, their tale began to fall apart when Bobbitt sued D’Amico and McClure in 2018 and claimed they had withheld the majority of the money while only giving him about $75,000.
After pleading guilty to conspiracy to conduct theft by deception in the second degree, Bobbitt was accepted into the New Jersey Judiciary’s Recovery Court program in March 2019. By doing so, he avoided going to prison and was able to seek treatment for his drug issues. If Bobbitt doesn’t maintain his sobriety, he risked serving five years in state jail. According to the prosecutor’s office, he will be sentenced in Camden, New Jersey, on August 23.
In April 2019, McClure admitted to second-degree theft by fraud; nevertheless, she insisted that D’Amico had ordered her to spread a fake story about Bobbitt. According to officials, she was given a state term on September 9 in Mount Holly, New Jersey, after being given a one-year jail sentence in federal court in July.
D’Amico, who admitted guilt to one count of misusing entrusted property in 2019 but denied involvement in the scheme with McClure and Bobbitt, was given a 27-month term in federal prison, according to authorities. His federal and state sentences will be served consecutively.