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December 17, 2018

Johnny Bobbitt released on bail pending trial for GoFundMe scheme

The homeless veteran must attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings and avoid contact with co-defendants Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico

Courts Theft
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.

With a series of conditions, Johnny Bobbitt Jr. was released on bail from a New Jersey jail following a hearing on Friday. 

A Burlington County judge ruled that Bobbitt, one of the players in the alleged massive 2017 GoFundMe scheme, must attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings three times a week, stay drug-free, and avoid contact with co-defendants Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico.

NBC News also reported Bobbitt can return to Philadelphia with proof that he has somewhere to live.

Bobbitt, a homeless veteran, was charged with fraud, conspiracy, and theft last month for his part in allegedly creating a fake GoFundMe account that raised more than $400,000 on false pretenses. 

The alleged scheme launched more than a year ago when authorities say the trio created a GoFundMe account to raise money for Bobbitt. It all began with a tale about Bobbitt spending his last $20 to buy McClure gas for her car, after she purportedly got stranded on a ramp off I-95. More than 14,000 donors contributed to money to help Bobbitt get a new start.

Prosecutors say McClure and D'Amico allegedly spent the donated money raised on vacations, a car, designer handbags, and gambling. Bobbitt also allegedly received more than $75,000, some of which authorities claim was spent on drugs. 

McClure and D'Amico also are out on bail and will have their first hearings on Dec. 24 in a Burlington County courtroom.

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