NJ man in GoFundMe scheme pleads not guilty to federal charges

Mark D’Amico, 40, pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering.

A New Jersey man who authorities said was the ringleader in a scheme that raised more than $400,000 with a bogus tale involving a homeless veteran rescuing a woman from the side of a highway pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges.

Mark D’Amico appeared in court in Camden to face an indictment handed up last week that charges the 40-year-old with a total of 16 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering.

D’Amico, former girlfriend Katelyn McClure and homeless vet Johnny Bobbitt have already pleaded guilty in state court, and McClure and Bobbitt have pleaded guilty to federal charges as well.

Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt

Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt admitted to their roles in a New Jersey GoFundMe scam that raised more than $400,000.


GoFundMe scam

From left to right: Johnny Bobbitt, Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico are accused of scamming GoFundMe donors out of more than $400,000 with a fictitious feel-good story that made international news.

Authorities say the trio made up a feel-good story in late 2017 about Bobbitt giving $20 to help McClure when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia. They gave newspaper and television interviews and eventually raised more than $400,000 online. Authorities began investigating after Bobbitt sued the couple, accusing them of not giving him the money.

The federal criminal complaint alleges all of the money raised in the campaign was spent by March 2018, with large chunks spent by McClure and D’Amico on an RV, a BMW and trips to casinos in Las Vegas and New Jersey.

D’Amico’s plea Thursday was entered by attorney Mark Davis. Last month, D’Amico pleaded guilty in state court to misapplication of entrusted property and will serve a five-year term under an agreement with prosecutors.


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