NC Homeless Veteran And NJ Couple Face Conspiracy Charges After GoFundMe Debacle
- Author: Joey Payne Nov 16, 2018,
Nov 16, 2018, 0:49
Moved by Bobbitt's kind gesture, McClure and her boyfriend Mark D'Amico launched a GoFundMe page for the man, to raise money for a vehicle, rent on an apartment, and four to six months' worth of expenses.
Instead of an apartment, the couple bought Bobbitt a camper and a ute - but it was in their names and parked on the couple's property, and he was eventually ordered to leave. McClure did not run out of petrol. Bobbitt did not spot her in trouble and give her money.
McClure and D'Amico were arrested Wednesday in Burlington County and released on bail, Coffina said.
In September, police raided the couple's south Jersey home, but they were not charged at the time.
Inspired by Bobbitt's selflessness, McClure and D'Amico launched a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $10,000 to get him an apartment, a vehicle and cover four to six months of expenses. It's unclear exactly what parts of the story were allegedly made up, but NBC claims that the charges will include conspiracy and theft by deception. McClure's story went viral, bringing in donations from more than 14,000 people who were touched by his kind gesture.
McClure and D'Amico denied that, telling the Inquirer they'd withheld a large share of it because Bobbitt was spending irresponsibly and had a drug problem, something Bobbitt has worked to beat and not disputed.
But prosecutor Scott Coffina was not done.
Burlington County prosecutors announced their findings in a Thursday press conference.
"All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign will receive a full refund", said Bobby Whithorne of the online fundraising company. He said authorities found more than 60,000 texts between McClure and D'Amico about their financial woes, discussing their inability to pay their bills and their increasing debts. "I had to make something up to make people feel bad".
Prosecutors say the couple spent the money on a BMW, a New Year's trip to Las Vegas, high-end hangbags and other items.
D'Amico said that he had been controlling Bobbitt's money and said that he would dole out more funds when Bobbitt got a job and quit using drugs. "We are fully cooperating and assisting law enforcement officials to recover every dollar withdrawn by Ms. McClure and Mr. D'Amico". He later sued the couple.
The couple's attorney, Ernest Badway, has said that Bobbitt got about $200,000, but his lawyer said it was only $75,000.