- Kate McClure pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and Johnny Bobbitt pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit laundering in a New Jersey court on Wednesday.
- The pair are accused of conspiring to create a GoFundMe scam that raised more than $US400,000 in 2017.
- McClure had said Bobbitt gave her his last $US20 when her car ran out of gas near Philadelphia in November 2017, and launched a GoFundMe to supposedly raise money for the homeless man.
- But the funds were instead used on luxury items and trips to Las Vegas and Disney parks, authorities said.
A homeless veteran and a New Jersey woman who are accused of conspiring to create a $US400,000 GoFundMe scam pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday.
Johnny Bobbitt, Jr., 36, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit laundering in the Camden, New Jersey, court. Kate McClure, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the Courier Post reported.
In 2017, McClure launched a GoFundMe for Bobbitt after claiming he gave her his last $US20 when her car ran out of gas near Philadelphia in November 2017.
The story went viral, and more than 14,000 people worldwide donated more than $US400,000 to the GoFundMe page. GoFundMe has refunded everyone who donated.
Prosecutors allege that Bobbitt conspired with McClure and her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, to concoct a feel-good story to raise the funds, which authorities allege were spent on a BMW, trips to Las Vegas and Disney parks, and designer handbags.
Bobbitt sued the couple, claiming he did not get a fair share of the donations – he said he received $US75,000 of the $US400,000.
The lawsuit launched an investigation into the GoFundMe, which led to criminal charges.
McClure faces up to 20 years in prison and a $US250,000 fine. Bobbitt faces up to 10 years in prison.
D’Amico is not charged with federal crimes in connection to the incident. He is, however, facing criminal trespass charges for allegedly refusing to leave the home he shared with McClure after their breakup last year, according to the BBC.
- Read more:
- ‘I had to make something up to make people feel bad’: The woman who raised $US400,000 on GoFundMe for a homeless veteran hinted in text messages that it was all a scam
- ‘I had no part in any of this’: The woman who raised $US400,000 for an alleged homeless veteran GoFundMe scam released a secret recording she says proves her innocence
- New Jersey couple, homeless vet behind viral $US400k GoFundMe accused of ‘get-rich-quick’ conspiracy, theft
- 5 GoFundMe campaigns that weren’t what they claimed to be
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