Woman, Homeless Man Involved In GoFundMe Case Arrested

FILE Johnny Bobbitt was reportedly homeless and addicted to drugs in November 2017 when he gave his last $20 to Kate McClure a stranded motorist on the side of the road in Philadelphia

Couple, homeless man charged with faking story that earned $400K in donations

In return, McClure and her boyfriend, Mike D'Amico, took to GoFundMe, asking givers to help them raise $10,000 toward rent, a auto, and a few months of basic living expenses for Bobbitt.

Mark D'Amico, 39, and Kate McClure, 28, set up the account for Johnny Bobbitt, 35, after they say he spent his last $20 to buy gas for McClure when she was stranded on a highway in Philadelphia.

Writing on the GoFundMe page she helped set up after, McClure said: 'Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn't repay him at that moment because I didn't have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks'.

Mr Bobbitt posted a similar story on Facebook in 2012 about helping a woman who had run out of gas, he said, but that "full responsibility" should be ascribed to all three. A flood of donations ensued as the story went viral and the couple made television appearances.

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The story first took a unusual twist when the veteran said the one-time Good Samaritans refused to hand over the money. In order to keep up the charade, the complaint says they prevented donors from learning information that would "affect their judgement" about the GoFundMe campaign, and failed to "correct their story".

On Thursday afternoon, Burlington County prosecutors announced formal charges against Johnny Bobbitt, Mark D'Amico and Kate McClure. Bobbitt was also taken into custody in Philadelphia and is awaiting extradition.

"The paying-it-forward story that drove this fundraiser might seem too good to be true", Coffina said at a press conference.

McClure and D'Amico surrendered to authorities on Wednesday and pending a December court date, Coffina said.

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The former feel-good story had turned dismal, with Bobbitt saying the couple used the funds as "personal piggy bank" to bankroll a lifestyle they couldn't afford.

The couple raised more than $400,000 on a GoFundMe campaign.

Coffina said it was that public interest that prompted him to investigate further, ultimately raiding the couple's home and learning of the ruse, according to local outlets.

Superior Court Judge Paula Dow had put Bobbitt's lawsuit on hold until at least December 7 because of the criminal investigation. Bobbitt's lawyer says his client received about $75,000.

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Prosecutors are apparently alleging the three people involved cooked up the scheme together as a way to raise money from unsuspecting dupes. They said Bobbitt only saw $75,000 of the almost $400,000 he was owed. GoFundMe is "fully cooperating" with law enforcement officials in the investigation. A lawyer for the couple had no comment when contacted by NBC10.

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