Homeless man who participated in GoFundMe scam sentenced to 5 years' probation

Homeless man who participated in GoFundMe scam sentenced to 5 years' probation”

Mark D'Amico and then-girlfriend Kate McClure, along with Bobbitt, first made headlines in 2017 when McClure claimed online that her auto ran out of gas on the side of a road in Philadelphia and Bobbitt gave her his last $20 to fuel up.

The homeless veteran who admitted to conspiring with a New Jersey couple in a shameless GoFundMe scam that raised more than $400,000 has been sentenced to five years' probation on Friday.

In addition to his state plea, Bobbitt pleaded guilty last month to a federal money laundering conspiracy charge.

In a plea deal, Bobbitt will enroll in an inpatient drug treatment program and if he violates those conditions he'll face five years in prison with no possibility of parole for at least 18 months. But the story tugged on donors' heart strings, leading them to open up their wallets and donate more than $400,000 to the veteran's cause. No sentencing date has been set for either person on those federal charges.

Bobbitt must go through a long-term, in-patient drug program followed by special probation, Superior Court Judge Christopher Garrenger ruled during a hearing in Burlington County.

(Burlington County Prosecutors office/AP) This November 2018 combination of photos provided by the Burlington County Prosecutors office shows Johnny Bobbitt, from left, Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico. They bought Bobbitt a camper, and he lived in it for a time on a property McClure's family owned in Florence Township.

The trio's public feud led to authorities investigating the case, and according to prosecutors McClure and D'Amico were having financial problems when they concocted the false gas story. "This was a horrendous event and is deplorable behavior on the part of Mr. Bobbitt, Mr. D'Amico and Ms. McClure".

But in truth, McClure's entire story was bogus and Bobbitt never spent "his last $20" helping McClure, prosecutors said.

McClure, 28, could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He and McClure were charged last fall in state court with theft and conspiracy.

D'Amico doesn't face any federal charges.

GoFundMe has said it refunded the donations. A New Jersey judge told Bobbitt Friday that he must testify against his codefendants.

Coffina said in Friday's statement that "there is no denying that Johnny Bobbitt has struggled with addiction, and that his addiction was a factor in his criminal conduct", and that the sentence of probation and treatment - with the certainty of jail time if he doesn't comply - is appropriate. "This sentence affords him the chance to turn his life around", Coffina said. "We wish him well in the program".

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