GoFundMe refunds $400,000 to donors in alleged homeless scam

ASSOCIATED PRESS
MOUNT HOLLY, N.J.
Published 26.12.2018 12:46
This November 2018 file combination of photos provided by the Burlington County Prosecutors office shows Johnny Bobbitt, left, Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico. (AP Photo)
This November 2018 file combination of photos provided by the Burlington County Prosecutors office shows Johnny Bobbitt, left, Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico. (AP Photo)

GoFundMe says it has refunded everyone who contributed to a campaign involving a homeless veteran from Philadelphia who prosecutors allege schemed with a New Jersey couple to scam donors out of more than $400,000.

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said Tuesday that "all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded" and the organization is cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Burlington County prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that Johnny Bobbitt conspired with Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend at the time, Mark D'Amico, to concoct a feel-good story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas. They raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

Whithorne said campaigns involving misuse "make up less than one tenth of one percent" of all GoFundMe campaigns, but such behavior "is unacceptable" and "has consequences."

"We have a zero tolerance policy for fraudulent behavior," he said. "If fraud occurs, donors get refunded and we work with law enforcement officials to recover the money."

McClure has alleged through her lawyer that D'Amico duped her. His lawyer has denied the allegations. Prosecutors released texts from McClure including one sent right after the GoFundMe page was set up in which they allege she told a friend that the "gas part is completely made up."

Prosecutors began investigating last summer after Bobbitt said he wasn't getting money raised on his behalf. He later sued the couple.

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