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Woman Who Lied About Homeless Veteran To Steal $400,000 Sentenced To Prison

Woman Who Lied About Homeless Veteran To Steal $400,000 Sentenced To Prison

Katelyn McLure and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico made up a fake sob story to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars

Katelyn McLure and boyfriend Mark D’Amico, who created a fake story about a homeless man, have been sentenced to prison after stealing $403,000.

The couple from New Jersey falsely claimed that homeless man Johnny Bobbit gave his last $20 to her when she ran out of gas in the middle of the night.

As a sign of gratitude for the 'selfless deed', a GoFundMe account for Bobbit was created in 2017, and it managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On the surface of things it looked like a brilliant act of kindness and the trio were interviewed by news outlets up and down the country.

Katelyn McLure, 32, and Johnny Bobbitt.

However, it was soon revealed that the whole thing turned out to be a massive scam. It turns out that the trio met at a casino a month prior and planned out the whole thing.

In the end, 14,000 people donated towards Bobbitt's GoFundMe.

The entire scheme collapsed because Bobbit opted to sue the couple in 2018 after they only shared $75,000 with him and blew the rest of the amount on luxuries.

The full financial breakdown was as follows:

  • TOTAL: $403,000 
  • GoFundMe Fees: $40,000
  • Casino Cash Withdrawals: $89,000 
  • Casino Charges: $20,000 +
  • Bobbit's Share: $75,000 
  • Repaying Family Debt: $9,000
  • BMW, LV Bags, Vacations, Jewellery etc: $174,000  
  • REMAINDER: $0 

Scott Coffina, Burlington County Prosecutor, explained, as MailOnline reports: "D'Amico, McClure and Bobbitt conspired to pass off a fake, feel good story that would compel donors to contribute to their cause and it worked in a very big way but it was fictitious and illegal and there are consequences.

"Johnny Bobbitt used to hang out near an underpass and this off ramp happens to be near a Sugarhouse casino and they frequented it and they ran into him on their trips there, befriended him, gave him $10, some coffee or some food.

"This was an irresistibly heartwarming tale and the trio's international media blitz to promote the campaign convinced more than 14,000 donors to contribute a total of $403,000 to help Johnny Bobbitt. 

"By his own estimate, Bobbitt received approximately $75,000 of the money. 

"But he wanted his fair share of the take and initiated legal action in August 2018 when his confederates refused to turn it over.

"By that point though, the money was long gone."

Katelyn McLure (left) and boyfriend Mark D’Amico (right) with Johnny Bobbitt (middle).

He added: "Johnny Bobbitt deserves our appreciation for his service to our country and our sympathy... but it is imperative to keep in mind that he was fully complicit. 

"He posed in front of a gas station for a photograph that he did not buy gas from.

"I can't imagine what was in Johnny Bobbitt's mind.  Maybe he just didn't appreciate that even the lawsuit would bring out this, he may not have known that all the money was squandered when he brought the lawsuit.

"All three of them had an interest in the story being fake not being revealed." 

On Thursday, 21 July, Katelyn McLure was ordered to serve one year in prison and then three years of supervised release.

She must also pay restitution for the hundreds of thousands of dollars she received using the GoFundMe fundraiser.

D'Amico accepted a plea deal in Burlington County in 2019 and now faces five years behind bars.

Bobbitt was ordered to enter a drug rehabilitation program.

All three also face state charges next month, which may mean more jail time for them.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: ABC News/GoFundMe

Topics: True crime, Crime, US News