December 06, 2019
Mark D'Amico, the boyfriend behind 2017's Philly-area GoFundMe scam that raised more than $400,000 through a viral, fake, feel-good story about a homeless man, pleaded guilty Friday to a property misuse charge.
D'Amico pleaded guilty to the single state charge in New Jersey Superior Court in Burlington County, according to the Associated Press. He is the last of the three involved in the scam to plead guilty in the state cases. D'Amico faces a five-year prison sentence, according to CBS3, after turning down a similar plea deal in May.
D'Amico's ex-girlfriend, Katelyn McClure, pleaded guilty to theft by deception in April, and will serve a four-year prison term. Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless man from the couple's fake story, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft, and was sentenced to five years probation.
On top of Friday's plea, D'Amico still faces wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering charges, which were filed in U.S. District Court in Camden in October. The charges carry a potential 30-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.
The three gained national fame in the fall of 2017, when they fabricated a story about Bobbitt, who was homeless at the time, generously giving McClure $20 when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia. McClure and D'Amico set up a GoFundMe page, asking for donations to help Bobbitt as a way of saying thank you.
The entire story was "predicated on a lie", according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina. The fundraiser was collaboration among the three to raise money for themselves, but the hoax broke down when Bobbitt began publicly complaining about McClure and D'Amico not giving him his money, instead spending it on jewelry, handbags, cars, and trips.
GoFundMe eventually refunded the money of everyone who donated to the fundraiser.