Homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt and Kate McClure plead guilty to their role in GoFundMe scam
Bobbitt pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit money laundering, while McClure pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud
A homeless veteran, Johnny Bobbitt, who made news for helping a stranded woman, Katelyn McClure, with his last $20 has reportedly pleaded guilty to charges in a GoFundMe scam along with 29-year-old McClure. The duo reportedly netted $400,000 with a phony story about him coming to her aid.
The 36-year-old Bobbitt, from Philadelphia, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit money laundering, while McClure of Bordertown, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to a Daily Mail report.
Prosecutors on Wednesday said that Bobbitt conspired with McClure and her former boyfriend Mark D'Amico to fabricate a story in 2017 about the homeless man giving McClure cash for gas when she was stranded along a highway in Philadelphia. In all three face charges, D'Amico has denied any wrongdoing in the case.
Investigators reportedly believe that the couple met Bobbit at a casino where they used to hang out frequently and orchestrated a story there to raise funds online. The trio raised $400,000 in Bobbit's name to assist him after his "generous" act, however, the money was used by the couple to spend on luxury items and casino trips.
Shortly after the scam was discovered, GoFundMe, where the fund was raised, announced that it has refunded everyone who contributed to the campaign.
McClure, in November, had claimed that she was duped by her ex-boyfriend and had genuinely believed that she was helping a homeless person. However, D'Amico's lawyers have denied her claims.
Prosecutors previously released text messages from McClure, including one which was sent less than half an hour after the couple had set up the GoFundMe page, telling her friend how the "gas part is completely made up" and to "shush about the made-up stuff."
An investigation into the case began after Bobbit claimed that he hadn't got the money which was raised on his behalf and later sued the couple.
Reports state that McClure, who was working at her state job with the Department of Transportation and was being paid around $43,000, has been suspended.
McClure's lawyer, while talking to NJ.com, said: "I told Kate this was inevitable once the charges had been made public by the Prosecutor. Unfortunately, it is the standard operating procedure for a governmental entity. Yet, it adds to the traumatizing impact this case has had on Kate."
McClure and D'Amico are currently free on bail while they await trial. However, Bobbitt is being held in the Burlington County Jail pending sentencing.