In a story that grabbed national attention, a New Jersey couple raised more than $400,000 to help a homeless good Samaritan. However, prosecutors said on Thursday that the story was built on deception and all three parties involved were in on the scam. The couple — Mark D’Amico, 39, and Kate McClure, 28, and the homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., 35, — were charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. If found guilty, they could serve up to five to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors allege that in November 2017, D’Amico and McClure concocted a GoFundMe campaign in honor of Bobbitt as a way to deceive donors moved by Bobbitt’s plight, and was allegedly motivated by a get-rich-quick scheme. Scott Coffina, the prosecutor in Burlington County, New Jersey, said at a press conference that “the entire campaign was predicated on a lie.” The couple first ran into Bobbitt at a freeway ramp near a casino in Philadelphia they frequented about a month before McClure supposedly met him. They befriended him with money and coffee, and eventually hatched their plan, Coffina said. However within a few months of the campaign’s creation, all of the money had been spent and when Bobbitt accused D’Amico and McClure of withholding most of the GoFundMe money he was owed, it led authorities to investigate the case, where the original tale then unraveled. D’Amico and McClure surrendered to authorities on Wednesday in Burlington County; police in Philadelphia also arrested Bobbitt on Wednesday in connection with the case. A court date has not been set.
November 16, 2018 @ 5:00 am National News Daypop