A New Jersey man who helped fabricate an intricate story a couple of homeless veteran serving to his down-and-out girlfriend with a view to gather hundreds in GoFundMe donations was sentenced to 5 years behind bars Friday.
Mark D’Amico, of Florence, pleaded responsible in December 2019 to misapplication of entrusted property and can serve 5 years in New Jersey state jail for his function within the fundraising scheme — which racked in additional than $400,000 in donations.
D’Amico, 43, admitted to manufacturing the story alongside together with his then-girlfriend Katelyn McClure about how Johnny Bobbitt Jr, a homeless vet, gave McClure his final $20 to refill her tank after she ran out of cash on a Pennsylvania interstate in the course of the evening.
The couple shared the heartwarming account on GoFundMe with a view to solicit donations for the down-on-his-luck Bobbitt. The fundraiser drew nationwide consideration as 14,000 individuals poured in donations on the “Paying it ahead”-titled GoFundMe web page underneath the premise that the cash can be used to offer Bobbitt with funds to hire a spot, purchase a dependable car and canopy primary residing bills.
Information of the touching encounter unfold as D’Amico, McClure and Bobbitt gave interviews to native and nationwide shops and the fundraiser’s $10,000 purpose was rapidly surpassed to a complete $400,000 in a couple of month.
Nonetheless, the anecdote was a hoax. The couple met Bobbitt a couple of month earlier than he reportedly helped out McClure together with his final Jackson and collectively they concocted the feel-good story to generate income.
“Individuals genuinely wished to consider it was true,” Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw stated in an announcement Friday. “Nevertheless it was all a lie, and it was unlawful. Our workplace is happy to convey justice for the greater than 14,000 kind-hearted individuals who thought they have been serving to somebody who was residing in a determined state of affairs.”
The trio loved the fruits of their fraud till Bobbitt sued D’Amico and McClure, over claims they have been blowing the stash on luxurious objects, a leisure car, a BMW and journeys to casinos. Bobbitt claimed they solely shared about $75,000 with him.
The lawsuit prompted authorities to analyze the fundraiser they usually finally discovered that the couple had spent all the cash by March 2018.
Along with the state prices, D’Amico additionally pleaded responsible to separate federal prices. He’s at the moment being held in federal jail in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania the place he’s severing a 27-month federal sentence.
His five-year state sentence will run concurrently together with his federal sentence — that means as soon as he completes the federal, he’ll serve the rest of his state sentence.
McClure and Bobbitt have additionally pleaded responsible to each state and federal prices.
McClure was sentenced to at least one 12 months in jail in federal courtroom final month and is ready to be sentenced on the state stage — the place she is predicted to get extra time.
Bobbitt, in the meantime, is present process a state drug courtroom program as a part of his plea settlement and is awaiting federal sentencing.
D’Amico and McClure have been additionally ordered to pay the cash again.
With Publish wires.