Last November, Katelyn McClure of New Jersey claimed to have run out of gas on Interstate 95. In her story, she claims that a homeless man named Johnny Bobbit Jr. used his last $20 to make sure she made it home safely. Following the incident, McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, started a GoFundMe campaign to help Bobbit as a thank you for his kind actions. The GoFundMe ended up raising over $400,000 from over 14,000 donors.
In August 2018, Bobbitt went public claiming that he hadn't received the money that was raised for him. At the time, D'Amico told the Inquirer that the money would not be given to Bobbitt until he was off of drugs and employed. Bobbitt eventually sued the couple, which resulted in Bobbitt receiving only $75,000 of the money that had been raised. As it turns out, the couple had been using the money to pay off debts, buy a BMW and expensive handbags, and go on lavish vacations.
During the investigation, inconsistencies in their stories started to come out, which eventually led police to search the home of the couple and led to the entire scam falling apart. Turns out, the three had met about a month prior to the story and concocted the made-up story. The couple was struggling financially and Bobbitt was homeless, so they used the story to pull at the heartstrings of the public. McClure even apparently told a friend that the story was fake!
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina stated
"The entire campaign was predicated on a lie...They put out a story that hoodwinked an awful lot of people...D'Amico, McClure, and Bobbit conspired to pass off a fake feel-good story that would compel donors to contribute to their cause. And it worked, in a very big way...But it was fictitious and illegal and there are consequences."