It was a heartwarming story of a couple helping raise over $400,000 to get a homeless veteran off the streets and into a home and car, but things turned sour when it all turned out to be a scam — and now, the girlfriend is blaming the veteran and her boyfriend.
After Johnny Bobbit, Jr. accused Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico of withholding the funds, the couple admitted the three faked the whole story. McClure, D’Amico, and Bobbitt “hoodwinked an awful lot of people,” authorities said Thursday, NBC10 reported.
After they had raised $403,000 from 14,000 donors, it now recently known that the story was a fake the whole time.
A feel-good viral story from last Thanksgiving has turned out to be a scam, authorities say. New Jersey couple Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico, and homeless Philly man Johnny Bobbitt, concocted a story that led to $400,000 in donations, prosecutors say: https://t.co/nFrYJ3Yyb6 pic.twitter.com/YSFvmvM82l
— Heavy.com (@HeavySan) November 15, 2018
McClure and D’Amico turned themselves into prosecutors on Wednesday and Bobbitt was arrested by the Philidelphia Police Department and is expected to be handed over to Burlington County to face charges.
Burlington County prosecutor Scott Coffina said on Thursday:
“[McClure] did not run out of gas … and [Bobbitt] did not spend his last $20 to help her. Rather, D’Amico, McClure and Bobbitt conspired to fabricate and promote a feel-good story that would compel donors to contribute to their cause.”
McClure, D’Amico, and Bobbitt are being charged for conspiracy and theft by deception after “allegedly providing a false story in order to raise money for themselves,” a source told NBC10.
Prosecutors say Bobbitt McClure and D’Amico met at a casino a month prior to the GoFundMe going live. They allegedly withdrew $85k in cash at local casinos. pic.twitter.com/hagAv3QYhj
— Chad Pradelli (@chadpradelli) November 15, 2018
However, the tables were turned even more when McClure set out to defend herself.
On Friday, McClure said through her lawyer that she was “set up by Mr. D’Amico and Mr. Bobbitt,” the New York Post reported.
McClure is no longer together with D’Amico and claims:
“Mr. D’Amico knew that I was a very kind person and that I was a bit naive.”
McClure’s father, speaking on his wife’s behalf as well, defended his daughter saying, “Kelly and I are fully supportive of our daughter. She’s doing as best as she can.”
The charge against the three for conspiracy and theft by deception leads to a combined sentence of five to ten years in prison, according to New York Post.