Mark D’Amico indicted, Alleged ringleader of $400000 GoFundMe scam.
Mark D’Amico, a conspirator behind the 2017 GoFundMe scam that raised more the $400,000 purportedly to benefit a homeless man who had helped his girlfriend, now faces charges in federal court.
D’Amico, 40, of Bordertown, was indicted on 16 new charges, among them wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced Wednesday.
In November 2017, D’Amico and his girlfriend Katelyn McClure made up a story about how homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. helped McClure when her car ran out of gas while driving on I-95 in Philadelphia. According to their fake story, Bobbitt had used his last $20 to buy the woman gasoline.
According to the scheme, to repay Bobbitt’s generosity D’Amico and McClure created a GoFundMe campaign with the goal to raise $10,000 and help Bobbitt get back on his feet. The campaign spread virally with the help of social media and traditional media and ultimately more than 14,000 donors contributed approximately $400,000.
“The story told by D’Amico and McClure was not true,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. “McClure never ran out of gas and Bobbitt never spent his last $20 for her. D’Amico and McClure conspired to create the false story to obtain money from donors based on false information.”
Of the money raised, D’Amico and McClure transferred $25,000 to a personal account for Bobbitt, but most of the money was ended up in D’Amico and McClure’s personal accounts, authorities said. And the former couple spent some of the money on gambling and expensive purchases, including vacations and a new BMW.
McClure and Bobbitt pleaded guilty in the federal cases in March, and they are awaiting to be sentenced.