GoFundMe Scammer Gets Off Easy

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GoFundMe and other crowdfunding platforms are a valuable way that people have to raise money during emergencies and to help the less fortunate.

Sadly, however, platforms like this also have their fair share of scammers and fraudulent people.

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One of these fraudsters is now headed to jail after raking in a huge amount of cash off a clever scam.

Meet Katelyn McClure

Katelyn McClure is a 32-year-old lady from Bordentown, New Jersey.

In 2017, she put up a post on GoFundMe about how a homeless man called Johnny Bobbitt had given her 20 bucks to put gas in her car when she ran out of fuel on the highway.

Despite having no home, this heroic and troubled veteran had given what little money he had to McClure. Now, she wanted to give back and raise money to help him. It brought more than a few tears as people rushed to donate.

The problem is that it wasn’t true. At all. In fact, McClure and her ex-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, had made Bobbit’s acquaintance at a Casino near Philly and decided to do the scam together as a way to get rich.

They worked on getting it into media channels and both collaborated in putting up the fake GoFundMe account, which was crowded with 14,000 donations in no time and raised more than $400,000.

The three of them were overjoyed, but then a big problem occurred.

The Scam Hits a Snag

The scam was actually working out and the money was flowing in by the bucketful. The problem happened when D’Amico and McClure got greedy and didn’t share out the profits with Bobbitt.

He got understandably angry about them leaving him out of the verbal agreement they’d made and treating him as nothing more than a prop to profit off. So, he sued them.

This nuclear option blew up the whole scam and exposed it, leading to McClure’s trial and sentencing on Thursday.

It turned out that shortly after the money came in, McClure and D’Amico shelled out for a fancy RV, a new sports car, and big spending at Las Vegas casinos.

Do Not Pass Go, Head Directly to Jail

D’Amico was already put behind bars this past April for a 27-month sentence.

McClure has now also taken her punishment and will be going to jail for a year. Bobbitt has five years probation and is facing other charges in August.

This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.