A New Jersey girl who pleaded responsible to serving to her boyfriend unfold a feel-good story a few homeless veteran that garnered greater than $400,000 in on-line donations has been sentenced to 3 years in jail on state theft expenses.
Burlington County prosecutors say Katelyn McClure, 32, wasn’t current in the Mount Holly courtroom Friday as a result of she is serving a one-year federal time period in the case. Her state jail time period will run concurrently and the previous transportation division employee shall be barred from ever working once more as a New Jersey public worker.
Prosecutors stated McClure and her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, got here up with the great Samaritan story in November 2017, claiming that homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. had given his final $20 to McClure when her automobile ran out of gasoline on an interstate exit ramp in Philadelphia.
The three carried out newspaper and tv interviews and solicited donations, ostensibly to assist Bobbitt, by a GoFundMe marketing campaign they named “Paying It Forward,” prosecutors stated. Prosecutors stated the marketing campaign raised greater than $400,000 from about 14,000 donors in a few month and on the time was the biggest fraud perpetrated by the crowdfunding platform.
Authorities started investigating after Bobbitt sued the couple, accusing them of not giving him the cash. They ultimately decided that the entire cash was spent by March 2018, with giant chunks spent by McClure and D’Amico on a leisure car, a BMW and journeys to casinos in Las Vegas and New Jersey.
D’Amico, 43, pleaded responsible in December 2019 and was sentenced to 5 years in state jail, a time period additionally working concurrently with an earlier federal time period. He and McClure have each been ordered to totally reimburse GoFundMe. Bobbitt was sentenced to probationary federal and state phrases.