December 7, 2021

NJ Man Pleads Guilty in $400,000 GoFundMe Scam

A New Jersey man pleaded responsible to conspiracy to commit wire fraud Monday for his half in a GoFundMe scheme that defrauded donors of a whole lot of 1000’s of {dollars}.

Mark D’Amico, 42, arrange the fraudulent on-line fundraiser in November of 2017 together with his ex-girlfriend Katelyn McClure. The funding web page, titled “Paying It Forward,” advised the story of McClure working out of gasoline whereas driving house from Philadelphia and a homeless veteran providing her his final $20. 

The web site was created to lift $10,000 to assist out the vet, Johnny Bobbitt Jr. The heartwarming story was picked up by each native and nationwide information shops, shining a highlight on the marketing campaign. Greater than 14,000 donors from all around the nation gave about $400,000.

Nevertheless, D’Amico and McClure transferred cash into financial institution accounts they’d entry to. As a substitute of serving to Bobbitt, the couple went on trip, purchased a BMW and different private gadgets. D’Amico used a number of the funds on playing. 

Bobbitt was notified of the scheme about mid-November final 12 months. In December, $25,000 was transferred right into a checking account D’Amico helped open for Bobbitt.

McClure and Bobbitt each pleaded responsible to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit cash laundering in March of 2019. They’re at the moment awaiting sentencing. 

D’Amico is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, 2022. He’s dealing with 20 years in jail and a $250,000 nice if convicted.