GoFundMe Scam: Katelyn McClure Sentenced to One Year in Prison

Katelyn McClure, a resident of Bordentown, New Jersey has been sentenced to spend one year behind bars. She was behind the viral GoFundMe Scam that scammed around 14000 people.

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$400,000 raised by 14,000+ clueless donors

32-year-old Katelyn was sentenced on Thursday after she admitted her role in the scam that raised $400,000. The fund was falsely created to help homeless veterans. McClure pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception in front of U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman, in New Jersey Superior Court in 2019. Therefore, Katelyn will have to make restitution and serve three years of supervised release. She is also going to be sentenced on state charges. Chances are her prison time may increase.

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Katelyn McClure: Conspirators and The fake story

The people involved in the scam were Katelyn McClure, herself, her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, and a man named Johnny Bobbitt Jr. They created a fake story about her being stranded on the highways of Philadelphia in 2017 when she ran out of gas. Then a homeless man aka Bobby aged 39 gave her, his last $20 as help. McClure and D’Amico, posted a picture of her with Bobbitt on a highway ramp, to create a false impression and applaud his “good deed.” According to Katelyn’s story, she then decided to help Bobby and other homeless people like him. So, she created a fund.

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This story was further popularised through local and national TV channels and media interviews. Eventually, it became viral. 14000 plus people donated to the cause.

According to State and Federal Prosecutors, Bobby was their aid. They had met near a casino in Philadelphia in October 2017. This was shortly before they spread the fake story.

Katelyn McClure
Katelyn McClure (Credit: Joe Lamberti / Pool/Camden Courier-Post)
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D’Amico, Katelyn’s ex-boyfriend, was the leader of the group. He also admitted to the federal charges. And also, he pleaded guilty in Burlington County in 2019 and agreed to a five-year jail sentence. D’Amico will have to spend 27 months behind bars according to a judgment passed in April 2022. He had also been ordered to make restitution. Sentencing on state charges will be scheduled next month. The scam was discovered after Bobbitt accused the couple of not giving him the money and filed a lawsuit. It raised suspicions and the Law Enforcement began their investigations. What came out of it shocked everyone.

Gambling and BMW from scammed money

The duo lived a luxurious life from the money raised from the fraudulent scam. They allegedly shared about $75,000 with Bobbitt. The rest of the money was spent by the duo on luxury vehicles, BMW trips to Las Vegas, gambling in casinos, and designer Louis Vuitton handbags. Bobbitt could be imprisoned for 10 years maximum along with a fine of $250,000, for assisting the couple. He will have to face sentencing based on federal charges, next month and will also be sent to a drug rehabilitation center as per the orders.

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