NATIONAL NEWS

Woman sentenced to prison for collecting $400,000 in viral GoFundMe scam

Jul 23, 2022, 6:47 PM
Katelyn McClure has been sentenced to one year and a day in prison for her role in scamming more th...
Katelyn McClure has been sentenced to one year and a day in prison for her role in scamming more than $400,000 from GoFundMe donors, claiming to be collecting money for a homeless man. (Burlington County Prosecutors Office/AP via CNN)
(Burlington County Prosecutors Office/AP via CNN)

(CNN) — A New Jersey woman has been sentenced to one year and a day in prison for her role in scamming more than $400,000 from GoFundMe donors, claiming to be collecting money for a homeless man.

Katelyn McClure pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception in the second degree. On Thursday, she was sentenced and ordered to pay restitution and to serve three years of supervised release, according to court documents.

In 2017, McClure claimed she ran out of gas and was stranded on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. The homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., supposedly saw her and gave her his last $20 for gas.

McClure and her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, posted about the “good deed” on social media, including a picture of her with Bobbitt on a highway ramp. They also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the homeless veteran, saying they wanted to pay it forward to the good Samaritan and get him off the streets.

The story went viral and made national headlines, with over 14,000 donors contributing. The scammers netted around $367,000 after fees.

Prosecutors said the then-couple spent the money on a BMW, a New Year’s trip to Las Vegas, gambling in casinos, Louis Vuitton handbags, and other items. Bobbitt, who received $75,000 from the fundraiser, according to prosecutors, took civil action against D’Amico and McClure and the scam soon became public.

The investigation revealed the real story. According to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina, the couple first met Bobbit at an off-ramp near a casino at least a month before the GoFundMe campaign went live. Investigators reviewed texts the couple sent discussing the scam and their money troubles, including one McClure sent to a friend that read, “Okay 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.”

Bobbitt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft by deception in 2019 and was sentenced to a five-year special probation period that includes drug treatment. D’Amico also pleaded guilty and agreed to a five-year term in New Jersey state prison, as well as restitution of GoFundMe and the donors, in 2019.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

FILE PHOTO...
Tina Burnside, Kiely Westhoff and Amya Henry, CNN

Suspect in the shooting deaths of 4 people in Ohio was captured in Kansas

A suspect in the shooting deaths of four people at multiple sites outside of Dayton Ohio, has been arrested, police said.
1 day ago
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at news conference following the weekly Senate D...
Clare Foran and Ali Zaslav, CNN

Senate begins ‘vote-a-rama’ to advance Democrats’ sweeping health and climate bill

The Senate on Saturday voted to advance Democrats' sweeping health care and climate bill toward final passage, putting the package on track to pass the chamber as soon as this weekend.
1 day ago
FILE - Police responding to a scene....
Associated Press

Alabama town disbands police department over racist text

A racist text message sent by a police officer has prompted officials in a small Alabama town to disband their police department and fire the police chief and assistant chief.
1 day ago
The US and Indian militaries will hold high-altitude exercises in Auli in the Indian state of Uttar...
Vedika Sud, Barbara Starr, Sahar Akbarzai and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

US to take part in military exercise near India’s disputed border with China

The United States is to take part in a joint military exercise with India less than 62 miles from their disputed border with China.
1 day ago
Barricades block off a portion of Elm Street in Laurel, Nebraska, where four people were found dead...
Rebekah Riess, Raja Razek and Jarrod Wardwell, CNN

Arrest in quadruple homicide after victims are found dead in 2 house fires in a small Nebraska town

The suspect in a Nebraska quadruple homicide where the victims were found dead in two separate house fires has been hospitalized with burns over much of his body.
1 day ago
Some of the women who were hanged during the Salem witch trials have been memorialized. (Stephan Sa...
Scottie Andrew, CNN

The last Salem witch has been exonerated, thanks to an eighth-grade teacher and her students

It's never too late to right a historical wrong -- even if that restoration of justice comes nearly 330 years later.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Woman sentenced to prison for collecting $400,000 in viral GoFundMe scam