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January 08, 2019

Arrest warrant issued for GoFundMe trio's Johnny Bobbitt Jr. after he skips court date

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Kate McClure Johnny Kate McClure/GoFundMe

Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless man who helped her after she got stranded on I-95 in Philadelphia. McClure started a crowdfunding effort that raised more than $400,000 to help the veteran get back on his feet. But now much of the money is reporting missing.

Johnny Bobbitt Jr., the once-homeless veteran involved in the $400,000 GoFundMe scam, was scheduled to appear in Burlington County court Tuesday. He never showed up. [UPDATE 1/9/19: Bobbitt was arrested in Fishtown on Wednesday, Jan. 9.]

New Jersey authorities issued a warrant for Bobbitt’s arrest Tuesday, according to NBC News, after the latest twist in a saga that seems destined to carry well into the new year.

Bobbitt was scheduled to appear Tuesday for a hearing, which itself was called because he didn’t report to required pretrial services.

According to Inquirer reporter Jan Hefler, Bobbitt’s public defender was left scrambling on Tuesday when the 35-year-old didn’t appear:

Last month, Bobbitt sought to enter Burlington County's drug court program rather than enter a criminal trial, and was freed from jail six days later on bail pending a trial. He was required by a superior court judge to submit to weekly monitoring, and attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings, according to NBC.

Now, with a warrant out for his arrest once more, Bobbitt’s future is much murkier.

New Jersey is currently considering new legislation which would impose mandatory jail time and require restitution from anyone convicted of conducting fraud via crowdfunding websites.

Mark D’Amico and Katelyn McClure, Bobbitt’s alleged conspirators in the fraud, are facing charges and could spend up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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