Mark D’Amico pled guilty in court on Monday on a conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The N.J. man along with his girlfriend, Katelyn McClure, created a fake GoFundMe page and scammed over 14,000 individuals out of $400,000.
D’Amico’s sentencing is scheduled for March, 28, 2022. The 38-year-old N.J. man faces the maximum penalty, which includes 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
In 2017, D’Amico and McClure claimed that a homeless man, Johnny Bobbit Jr, used his last $20 to help McClure when she ran out of gas on a trip from Philadelphia to N.J. The couple started a GoFundMe page for Bobbit and said that all the money would help buy an apartment and cover living expenses.
Their heartwarming tale was picked up by local and national news networks and they soon gained national attention and donations. The trio even appeared on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today to talk about their amazing story.
According to court records, the $400K actually went towards Mark D’Amico and McClure so they could live a lavish lifestyle. After the money was donated, the couple moved it into their personal accounts and spent it on vacations, gambling, a BMX, and expensive purses.
“They went on shopping sprees,” lawyer Jacqueline Promislo said. “[Bobbitt] tells me they had a Louis Vuitton bag and Chanel sunglasses, a new iPhone 10.”
Court documents allege that Bobbitt knew about the fake story and that Mark D’Amico and Katelyn McClure told him about the funds. In December 2017, reports show that McClure deposited $25,000 into an account for Bobbit and the couple also bought him a trailer and a used truck.
Bobbit went on to sue the couple in 2018 and wanted to know where all his money went. His federal complaint claimed that all the money raised was gone by March 2018 and that he only received $75,000. The homeless man also said that the couple never gave him the keys to his own truck and used it until it broke down.
The couple claimed that they were only withholding the money so Bobbit wouldn’t spend it on drugs. In 2018, a judge ordered the couple to give any leftover money to Bobbit, that’s when they said that all $400,000 had been spent.
After the homeless veteran sued the couple for fraud, police started looking into the trio and later raided the couple’s home in Sept. 2018. Officers took the couple’s BMX along with boxes of items.
In a statement, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina said, “due to the enormous public interest in this matter, I am confirming that a search warrant was executed early this morning by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Florence Township Police Department at the residence of Mark D’Amico and Katelyn McClure in connection with a criminal investigation into the Johnny Bobbitt matter.”
At the time of the raid, no charges were filed against the three people. State and federal police would later charge them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering for their GoFundMe scheme.
In March 2019, both Bobbit and McClure pleaded guilty to their charges and are currently awaiting sentencing.
A representative from GoFundMe said that they would work on getting Bobbitt his money back. During the investigation they deposited $20,000 into an account for the homeless veteran. They said, “Johnny will be made whole and we’re committing that he’ll get the balance of the funds that he has not yet received or benefitted from. GoFundMe’s goal has always been to ensure Johnny gets the support he deserves.”