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A homeless veteran and a woman behind a massive GoFundMe scam that raked in over $400,000 pleaded guilty Wednesday in New Jersey federal court.

The woman, Kate McClure, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The veteran, Johnny Bobbitt, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors say McClure and her then-boyfriend Mark D'Amico, 39, devised a plan to scam kindhearted social media users by concocting a feel-good story about a homeless veteran giving McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas along the highway.

McClure and D'Amico launched the Gofundme page in November 2017 with an original goal of $10,000. When the donations reached $1,500 in less than a week, the couple convinced Bobbitt to play the part of the homeless veteran in exchange for cash. The couple helped him set up a bank account.

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The story went viral on Facebook.com and the donations poured in. In just a matter of weeks, the Gofundme page generated over $400,000 in donations.

The following month, McClure and D'Amico deposited $25,000 of the proceeds into Bobbitt's bank account, authorities said.

The couple spent the rest of the money on personal expenses, lavish vacations, a new BMW, and designer bags and clothing. Later, McClure admitted she withdrew $85,000 in cash to "hit the casino hard."

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As the story picked up steam around the world, the international news media pursued the trio for exclusive interviews. But their story began to unravel when Bobbitt spent his $25,000 and demanded more cash.

With the help of friends on social media, Bobbitt accused the couple of stiffing him out of the $400,000.

Authorities launched an investigation, and Gofundme froze the account to stop accepting new donations.

An attorney retained by McClure told officials she only created the ruse to help Bobbitt.

"The story about the gas was what I refer to - and this is where the prosecutors and I have a disagreement - on Kate's part," said defense attorney James Gerrow. "It was puffing, it was exaggeration trying to help this veteran."

McClure said, in addition to the $25,000, she generously gave Bobbitt $75,000 to purchase a used RV and his dream car, a 1999 Ford Ranger.

When McClure and Gerrow attended a second meeting with New Jersey prosecutors, the true story behind the scam came to light.

"At the second conference, the prosecutors were talking about evidence,” Gerrow said. "At that point in time, I turned to Kate and said, 'Do you understand what they're saying?'"

"At that point, she became very emotional," Gerrow said. "She was in tears, she was crying, visibly shaking because she realized what they were saying - and that is that she had been being used by D'Amico and by Bobbit. She had been set up."

But prosecutors didn't buy the sob story that McClure was a naive woman who had been duped by D'Amico - who is 11 years her senior.

Prosecutors subpoenaed McClure's phone records and found text messages she sent to a friend less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live.

In one text message, McClure wrote, "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. So, shush about the made up stuff."

McClure, D'Amico, and Bobbitt were all charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. McClure and D'Amico turned themselves in, but authorities issued an arrest warrant for Bobbitt who fled the area. He was later arrested.

If convicted, they each face 5-10 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Gerrow blames GoFundMe for contributing to the scam by not cutting off donations after the set goal was reached.

"At $10,000, Kate tried to cut it off with GoFundMe, [but] they told her that couldn't be done," Gerrow said. "She also tried to cut it off again at $100,000 because she was very concerned about the amount of money that was coming into the fund."

But a spokesperson for GoFundMe, which agreed to refund the $400,000 to the 14,000 people who donated to Bobbitt, disputed Gerrow's claims.

"Campaign organizers are in full control of their campaigns, including their ability to turn off donations," spokesman Bobby Whithorne told ABC News in November 2018.

In fact, McClure did close the account to stop receiving donations - only to reopen it days later.

In a follow-up post on the GoFundMe page, McClure explained why she reopened the campaign to continue receiving donations.

"For the short time that we took it down, it is obvious that people still want to donate to his cause... You guys continue to amaze us."

  • WinterIsComing

    I don’t give to Go Fund Mes. People use them as health insurance, life insurance, child support, salary and hourly wages, IPOs... Nope! Folks need to learn to take personal responsibility for their own lives instead of relying on charity. We have a sense of entitlement in this country which is quite simply pathetic.

  • LeeSeeCee

    They are always naive and innocent when they get caught. Not so naive or innocent whilst coming up with the story and then reaping the rewards of the lie. Nope, don't believe her at all, but kudos, for using your white woman privilege to get out of serious hard time. WTF ever...

  • Kanyade

    "For the short time that we took it down, it is obvious that people
    still want to donate to [our scam empire] his cause... You guys continue to amaze us."
    ---------
    https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7aTLhoDUdLALkXBe/giphy.gif

  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs

    RIP Bernie????

  • Phillybruh

    Its was 400k split it 3 ways and no one is none the wiser.

  • jazmine

    I know it’s illegal but I don’t care that they did it honestly. Y’all need to stop being so damn gullible

  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs

    BIG GREEDY DUMMIES! Had they paid the guy, the might have gotten away with it?????

  • jazmine

    The damn “homeless” man had the nerve to get greedy and get them all in trouble. Smh

  • We Can Do This

    Well put. No matter what they call it these days, it's still begging in my book.

  • Phillybruh

    The nerve of him.....lol

  • WinterIsComing

    His show was hilarious!

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    It was smart of them to plead guilty early, so maybe they'll get a reduced sentence... especially if they testify against the boyfriend. The last person to plead guilty or accept a deal usually gets the most prison time. I expect he'll probably get 5+ years, while I'd be surprised if the others get more than 2 years.

  • Yardgirl

    Oh they totally would have gotten away with it!!

  • Yardgirl

    This is exactly what I said too. He should have done what they did. Greedy to the end. Dummy

  • Yoni7

    Dude's mugshot on the right (because IDK which one is the homeless guy - they ALL look homeless to me) looks like Jim Jones.

  • Yardgirl

    I tell people all the time, them saltines are the biggest crooks in AmeriKKKa!! They come up with the big schemes and since everyone is watching US, they get away with it. When I worked my first job at Sears, I would see them come in and walk out with tons of shit!! But let a Black family come in shopping for a lot of stuff (school shopping) you get the call from security to "watch them" FOH sir, that's your job, I am busy watching your people rob the store while you watch my people shop and eventually pay.

  • jazmine

    Did u see that esthetician girl who "invented" the 60 second face wash rule on twitter begging for $17,000. Girl just do more facials im confused...

  • Shamwow

    Yup and all while we’re watching Jussie, RKelly and Michael Jackson rip. They are having a grand old time.

  • Yoni7

    Lissen!

  • Yoni7

    Y'all meaning THEY, because I'm hip to THEM and their bullsh!t.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    400,000 dollars ? Chile modern day panhandling smh .... don't ask me for shyt on GoFundMe flat out! These thieves are on da prowl ! Fugg folks ?

  • Rayne

    They are stupid. All tree of ‘em

  • Yoni7

    "She was in tears, she was crying, visibly shaking...
    ____________
    YT women tears have NEEEEVVVVVEERRR moved me.

  • Trace da Ace

    Dumb asses 1,2 and 3....lock 'em all up!!

  • Fiona

    There is no honor among thieves. So AFTER they concocted the feel good story, they recruited the homeless guy to play the part and paid him $25K, but because he got greedy, now they are all going to jail. I don't feel sorry for any of them, BUT that homeless guy is foul or really stupid.

  • Guest©

    I respect your decision, however, there are many good causes to help fund. Unfortunately, my Uncle has cancer. He has medical insurance but the cost of him being out of work is mounting. He has a gofundme to help with bills and things medical insurance does not cover. If God puts it in my heart, I will contribute to help others. If I inadvertently get scammed once or twice, that's on the scammer not me.

  • Yoni7

    In one text message, McClure wrote, "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. So, shush about the made up stuff."
    ________________
    HONESTLY, I've NEVER read this story. I've seen it posted time and time again, but I NEVER ONCE took the time to read up on the "good deed" they did for him. Now skimming through this write up, she says she "made up stuff"? I always say karma isn't good or bad, it's what you put out into the universe, you shall receive back. THIS is YOUR karma, hoe!
    And I still don't know what she made up.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Yup. Even if she and her boyfriend were 50-50 on the scam, of course she's going to blame him (saying he manipulated her, etc.) and get a much lighter sentence for herself. White woman privilege indeed.

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    If ppl would just get they shyt together...

  • Whirl

    That’s starting to sound like a good rule of thumb sad to say.

  • Ni Ni

    My ADHD wont let me finish reading this story.

  • Coy little wink

    I hate scammers. Where is the dough?

  • MsSapphire9800

    So they thought they will give a "Homeless Veteran" 25k and they will keep 375k tax free and everything was going to be okay...WOW...he's homeless not dumb. I will never give my hard earn money to GoFundMe I do not care what the cause is.....

  • Bashi22

    White people smart however greedy take over. They end up being busted if they had just kept the scheme going they would still be enjoying the money. GREED GET THE BEST OF THEM.

  • Well$$Well$$?

    I see these group funding sites as a new way for scammers to scam on. Anywho So I'm watching clips of part 2 of the R Kelly interview and whew chile...

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Be careful out here bew folks out here looking for a nest ..... to sow a demon egg (that will die) ! Folks offering death (a sentence) that's slated for them (them only) ...... keep your faith !!! ???... and move this shyt right along .... you will be shown da truth of people .... up to you (to believe) their fugg shyt . Or see that (thief) for what it is... much love ?

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Karma is is what you send out .... (good or bad ) dharma (the good is what's returned) ..... good vibes bring good tribes ??? a living witness!?

  • WinterIsComing

    You’re a good one.

  • WinterIsComing

    No I didn’t but I’m going to google her.

  • We Can Do This

    But those tears work magic on judges and jurors.

  • ATL White Guy

    I stopped reading once i saw the reference to the dream car being a 1999 Ford Ranger.

  • WinterIsComing

    ?????? simple pleasures

  • Yoni7

    White people smart
    They end up being busted
    _____________________
    No shade to you, but this is an oxymoron. Because if they were smart, they wouldn't have been busted. They are stupid as fukk. They gets NO credit this way.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    I guess he'd rather come clean and expose them (even if it meant exposing himself to being charged with a crime) ... rather than sit back with $25k while they split the remaining $300k+ between themselves. If I was him I'd be pretty ticked off too.

  • Yoni7

    Not if I had been one of'em.

  • WinterIsComing

    ????????

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Sandra be careful bew .... your site is filled with love ... expect more trolls and fugg shyt to enter the scene ..... the Rose's love you bew this is your garden ..... continue to stand your ground in it .... as well as your foundation .... God got ya ..... but I must warn do things with integrity ... if not you (you) should expect da backlash ! But don't get da backlash misconstrued !!!!! Will it help all (everyone) or will it it ruffle some feathers ..... much love to you Sandra with your strong self ..... you went through ..

    And continue to stand for a reason .... love you bew ? now let me get back to da slayage of you damn demons .. (kiss my azz .....slay you cunts in my sleep) literally!
    . Again this shyt is finished ! Every thief will be caught! Every pedophile will be caught
    .
    . Anyone stealing innocence will be caught..... chickens have and will come home to roost ..
    .. twirls out of here until da next post ???

  • Ms. Cree

    HA! Right.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    If a bunch of negros had come up with this cockamamie story, no way would they have been able to raise $400k.. not even half that. White folks would have been immediately skeptical... but because it involves a bunch of white folks, with a "kind-hearted" white woman in the middle of it, everybody opened up their wallet in sympathy.
    I tell ya... white privilege is real, on so many levels.

  • Marlika

    These clear devils are going to get a smack of the wrist as usually. I have yet to see a YT doing any real time for anything they do. They’re always getting smack on the wrist and put in time out!??????

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1lo6u-UIbo Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!
  • Yoni7

    Wonder the hues of he donors.....because I don't see too many of US donating to the cause. I just don't see it for us.

  • Coco

    Right! They only gave him 6% of the money, of course he’s taking everyone to jail. ?

  • iWasteTime

    Greed will always ALWAYS get you caught in the end.
    How they thought they were going to give a person, homeless or not, 6% of $400,000 and that person was going to be OK with it is beyond me.

  • Coco

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the girl gets probation.

  • SpiceGirl

    I just love when folks get their just do

  • ?? Kari ?????????

    These people are just another reason why I don’t do the fund me thing.
    Have you ever just gone there and read some of the reason they need money? Unreal

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1lo6u-UIbo Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    ROFL!!!!!!!!!!

  • Yoni7

    Ain't is sweet? Good or bad. LOL

  • Yoni7

    THEY ALL going "home" with a 3-day work detail. With a two-day, twenty-three hour suspension of that, a broken ankle monitoring device and a gift card to Chik-Fila. FOH!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1lo6u-UIbo Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    say it! they don't even have to be "smart" ...it's the fact that they 100% of the time receive the 'benefit of the doubt' from other yt folk. if you know you not gonna be questioned, you don't have strain your brain tryna concoct a believable answer. it's called FACE value.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    LOL.
    I always wondered why a homeless person would have $20.

  • justlooking

    They got to begging over the split of funds.

  • hottlanta

    Yall they white n no one got shot so no crime was committed.

  • MsSapphire9800

    He had a bank account also probably recieving a 5-10% VA check...stories about Veterans panhandling with a loaded bank account is common.

  • SpiceGirl

    Yes it is sis....... : }

  • Bashi22

    The plan was solid however, greed gets the best of them.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    I never thought about that.

    Thanks

  • Yoni7

    Not THAT solid. LOL

  • Nik

    He is both foul and stupid. He made out better than he was at the start, but instead he risked going to jail rather than taking the money and running. But it's a good thing he has rocks for brains because it exposed the scam and now they all will be rightly punished and the donors will get their money back.

  • Nik
  • Nik
  • the guest

    This so true. When we were kids, my mother school shopped at nice department stores. Year after year she shopped at these same departments stores with their store credit cards in her name with her excellent credit.

    One year she noticed a security guard following her around. She went right upstairs to the business offices and explained that she was cutting her store card up right there unless they instructed the security guard to stop following her. As kids we were in awe. That’s how we learned not to tolerate racism.

    When I was a young adult, my first job was in retail. During training and orientation, we learned that for a fact the statistics state that the biggest theieves are white and get this white and elderly. Retail loses most of money from elderly white women who chronically return, chronic returns means a purchase is never made so its loss. Ever watch how retail clerks kiss the butt of white women returning items but treat black women buying like crap. That’s RACISM when a merchant respects a thief more than a patron.

    The biggest thieves are NOT black people BUT store security makes a huge dramatic scene and spectacle if a black person steals so it seems like it’s blacks doing the most stealing. When whites steal on site, they politely ask them to the office.

    People need to knows that it’s black parents, mothers and fathers, that buy their black children quality clothes for school. And that it’s white people even those with money that have their kids wrinkled and sloppy and in pajamas. But somehow white sloppy is better than black quality.

  • Guest©

    Yes but have you cannot cover all of your expenses plus unreimbursed medical expenses on a disability check alone. Bills start to pile up and the last thing a sick person needs is stress from bills, imho.

  • WinterIsComing

    Fair.

  • Erin

    I hate you so much right now you are so right

  • Alextra Ballard

    This is what happens when folks get greedy....if they hadda split the money 3 ways as they planned no one would have known about these scam artist. but they short changed Bobbit's as and he began to sang like a canary

  • Yardgirl

    Retail loses most of money from elderly white women who chronically return, chronic returns means a purchase is never made so its loss.
    **********************************************
    Listen this right her is FACTS!!!!! I had this old hag return a bra that was once upon a time the color white and when returned was the color of rust *vomit* This witch had the nerve to say that she only wore it a couple times and was returning (without receipt of course!!) because it did not "fit" right. I swear it had to have been decades old!! I called the store manager and without blinking an eye he got a similar brand bra and gave her store credit (bitch wanted cash but he drew the line at that since no receipt)

    Kudo to your mom for calling them out, that mom is no ME!! If any of them even look at me crossed I ask for the STORE manager and politely but with calm venom give them the dressing down they deserve. Tuh! Not with my money!!

  • Logan Roberts

    Wait, are these meth heads?
    #Thugs

  • Bashi22

    as i mention if greed on both ends also if all three parties follow the plan it would have work solid.

  • Gina W.

    They need to get the max of 10 yrs! Fools!

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