GoFundMe refunds $400,000 in donations from couple’s ‘scam’ fundraiser to help homeless man

The couple and their co-conspirator are facing charges for conspiracy and theft by deception

Sarah Harvard
New York
Thursday 27 December 2018 12:33
Comments
Homeless veteran who gave woman his last £15 has life completely rebuilt after £300k crowdfunding donations

GoFundMe, an online fundraising platform, said on Tuesday that it returned more than $400,000 in donations from a crowdfunding campaign prosecutors allege was a scam.

Mark D’Amico and Kate McClure, a couple from New Jersey, allegedly created a false campaign with Johnny Bobbitt Jr.

The false campaign claimed that the couple were raising funds for Mr Bobbitt, a homeless Marine veteran who gave Ms McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas.

The crowdfunding campaign went viral and raised more than $402,000 from 14,000 people through GoFundMe.

But soon after, Mr Bobbitt went on to accuse Mr D’Amico and Ms McClure of withholding the funds from him and using it as a “personal piggy bank,” to bankroll a fancy BMW car and luxury vacations.

Mr Bobbit ended up suing the couple. In August, a judge presiding over the case ordered the couple to fork over all the remaining funds that were donated.

Last month, however, NBC News obtained court filings alleging that Mr Bobbitt collaborated with the couple in creating the false story to trick people into handing over donations.

The three of them are now facing charges for conspiracy and theft by deception.

On Tuesday, GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne said the crowdfunding site is working with law enforcement to recover the withdrawn funds. “All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunding,” Mr Whithorne said in a statement.

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