NJ Man Pleads Guilty in $400,000 GoFundMe Scam

A New Jersey man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud Monday for his part in a GoFundMe scheme that defrauded donors of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mark D’Amico, 42, set up the fraudulent online fundraiser in November of 2017 with his ex-girlfriend Katelyn McClure. The funding page, titled “Paying It Forward,” told the story of McClure running out of gas while driving home from Philadelphia and a homeless veteran offering her his last $20. 

The website was created to raise $10,000 to help out the vet, Johnny Bobbitt Jr. The heartwarming story was picked up by both local and national news outlets, shining a spotlight on the campaign. More than 14,000 donors from all over the country gave about $400,000.

However, D’Amico and McClure transferred money into bank accounts they had access to. Instead of helping Bobbitt, the couple went on vacation, bought a BMW and other personal items. D’Amico used some of the funds on gambling. 

Bobbitt was notified of the scheme about mid-November last year. In December, $25,000 was transferred into a bank account D’Amico helped open for Bobbitt.

McClure and Bobbitt both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in March of 2019. They are currently awaiting sentencing. 

D’Amico is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, 2022. He is facing 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

 

About ErinBoogie

Erin Boogie is a blogger for BallerAlert.com and producer/co-host of the weekly radio show In the Field Radio.

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