- Kate McClure – the woman who raised $US400,000 for a homeless veteran on GoFundMe in what prosecutors say was a scam – blames her ex-boyfriend and the veteran on the whole situation.
- She released a recording she claims proves she’s innocent.
- In the recording, she appears to blame her ex-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico for the whole situation.
- D’Amico appears to call her a “dumb b—-” and says suggests what they did was legal.
- McClure’s lawyer told “Good Morning America” that she only wanted to help a homeless veteran.
The woman who raised $US400,000 in a GoFundMe campaign for a homeless veteran is distancing herself from the situation after New Jersey county prosecutors charged her with theft and said the “entire campaign was predicated on a lie.”
Through her attorney, Kate McClure released a recording where she appears to be fighting with Mark D’Amico, her ex-boyfriend. Prosecutors say McClure and D’Amico conspired with John Bobbitt, the homeless man, to make up a feel-good story that went viral.
In the recording, McClure appears to blame D’Amico for plotting to keep the money. She said the recording was taken after Bobbitt sued the couple for keeping all the money.
“You started the whole f—ing thing, you did everything. I had no part in any of this and I’m the one f—ing taking the fall,” she said in the recording, obtained by ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
In another recording, D’Amico appears to denigrate McClure when she appears to regret speaking to media organisations about their situation.
“You don’t go to jail for lying on TV, you dumb b—-,” he said.
The saga began in November 2017 when McClure posted a story on GoFundMe about how Bobbitt gave her his last $US20 for gas when her car broke down near the Philadelphia overpass. McClure and D’Amico then helped Bobbitt get back on his feet, according to the story. The GoFundMe post went viral and they ultimately raised $US400,000 for Bobbitt.
In August, Bobbitt sued the couple, claiming they withheld the money from him and used it to pay for their own vacations and luxury goods. The lawsuit led to court hearings,a police raid, and an investigation that ultimately led to Burlington County prosecutors to charge all three of them with an elaborate plot that involved making the story up and using it to steal money.
James Gerrow, McClure’s lawyer, told “Good Morning America” than D’Amico was behind the whole thing from the start. He controlled McClure by being abusive, Gerrow said.
“This was an abusive relationship,” he said. “From the start, Kate thought she was helping a veteran who was homeless. Mr. D’Amico was the one behind this, and he was calling all the shots. Any time she tried to deviate from that… he would go off.”
D’Amico’s attorney told “Good Morning America” that he was declining to comment.
Among the evidence prosecutors presented in their charges against McClure, was a text message where she told a friend that part of the GoFundMe story was made up.
“OK so wait the gas part is completely made up, but the guy isn’t. I had to make something up to make people feel bad,” she wrote in a text message.
Gerrow acknowledged that McClure had fabricated part of the story, but said it was all out of a desire to help Bobbitt.
“At the time, she didn’t understand that this may be a crime. What she’s talking about – and what she said all along – was that she was trying to help this homeless man,” Gerrow said. “She was really being duped into that, in my view, by both Mr. D’Amico and Mr. Bobbitt. So she’s going along thinking that she’s helping someone.”
GoFundMe told “Good Morning America” it was in the process of issuing refunds to the thousands of people who donated to the campaign.
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