According to a plea agreement, a man accused of orchestrating a GoFundMe campaign worth $400,000 using a fake story was sentenced to five year imprisonment. According to Law & Crime.
Mark D’Amico, one of those responsible for the once well-known “Paying it Forward”GoFundMe campaign. Previously sentenced to 27 month in federal prison. However, he will serve both terms simultaneously.
According to authorities, D’Amico and his then-girlfriend Katelyn McClure fabricated a story in which Johnny Bobbitt Jr., a homeless man, gave McClure “his last $20”to purchase gas when she was “stranded alone at night”On the side of a Philadelphia road.
“The campaign listed a goal of $10,000 to provide Bobbitt with rent for an apartment, a reliable vehicle and six months of living expenses, among other things,” prosecutors said, according to Law & Crime.
The story went viral, with 14,000 people donating to a cause that they thought would lift Bobbit out of poverty. The couple raised $14,000 More than $400,000.
“But it was all a lie, and it was illegal. Our office is pleased to bring justice for the more than 14,000 kind-hearted people who thought they were helping someone who was living in a desperate situation.” Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw stated according to Law & Crime.
According to prosecutors, the couple used the excess funds for casino gambling and personal items like a BMW, a New Year’s trip to Las Vegas, a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, and Louis Vuitton handbags, Law & Crime reported.
Authorities claimed they discovered the truth after McClure and D’Amico allegedly spent most of the funds but failed to pay Bobbitt their share.
According to prosecutors, Bobbitt took civil action after he allegedly only received approximately $75,000 of the funds raised on his behalf, Law & Crime reported.
According to the outlet Bobbit and McClure both pleaded guilty in connection with the scam.
Bobbit pled guilty in a case of conspiracy to commit theft through deception According to the New York Post, and was able to avoid prison time and instead will be finishing an addiction treatment program. McClure pleaded guilty at federal court to one count, conspiracy to commit wirefraud. He was sentenced to one-year and a half in prison.