MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. — A New Jersey girl who pleaded responsible to serving to her boyfriend unfold a feel-good story a few homeless veteran that garnered greater than $400,000 in on-line donations has been sentenced to a few years in jail on state theft expenses.
Burlington County prosecutors say Katelyn McClure, 32, wasn’t current within the Mount Holly courtroom Friday as a result of she is serving a one-year federal time period within the case. Her state jail time period will run concurrently and the previous transportation division employee might be barred from ever working once more as a New Jersey public worker.
Prosecutors stated McClure and her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, got here up with the nice Samaritan story in November 2017, claiming that homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. had given his final $20 to McClure when her automobile ran out of fuel on an interstate exit ramp in Philadelphia.
The three performed newspaper and tv interviews and solicited donations, ostensibly to assist Bobbitt, by means of a GoFundMe marketing campaign they named “Paying It Ahead,” prosecutors stated. Prosecutors stated the marketing campaign raised greater than $400,000 from about 14,000 donors in a few month and on the time was the most important fraud perpetrated by means of the crowdfunding platform.
Authorities started investigating after Bobbitt sued the couple, accusing them of not giving him the cash. They finally decided that all the cash was spent by March 2018, with massive chunks spent by McClure and D’Amico on a leisure automobile, a BMW and journeys to casinos in Las Vegas and New Jersey.
D’Amico, 43, pleaded responsible in December 2019 and was sentenced to 5 years in state jail, a time period additionally working concurrently with an earlier federal time period. He and McClure have each been ordered to totally reimburse GoFundMe. Bobbitt was sentenced to probationary federal and state phrases.