Homeless 'good Samaritan' gets probation in gas money scam

Johnny Bobbitt left looks on as his attorney John Keesler and Assistant Prosecutor Andrew McDonnell right talk while appearing before Superior Court Judge Christopher Garrenger at the Burlington County Courthous

Johnny Bobbitt left looks on as his attorney John Keesler and Assistant Prosecutor Andrew McDonnell right talk while appearing before Superior Court Judge Christopher Garrenger at the Burlington County Courthous

Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless veteran once hailed a good Samaritan only to be revealed as a co-conspirator in a $400,000 GoFundMe scheme, was sentenced Friday to a five year special term in drug court.

36, pleaded guilty last month in state court to conspiracy to commit theft by deception for his role in a scam that prosecutors on Friday said "worked brilliantly."As a part of his plea deal, Bobbitt agreed to enter a drug treatment program".

Prosecutors said Bobbitt, a veteran who was homeless at the time, posed with McClure, who posted a fake story to GoFundMe in which she said she was raising money for Bobbitt after he generously gave her his last $20 when her auto ran out of gas on the highway. Bobbitt, the homeless veteran who admitted to conspiring with a New Jersey couple in a GoFundMe scam that raised more than $400,000, was sentenced Friday to five years' probation. "D'Amico and McClure allegedly conspired to create the false story to obtain money from donors".

"We want you to be a success in our drug court program, Mr. Bobbitt, and if there are things we can assist you in the journey, please let us know". It claimed McClure had run out of gas while driving into Philadelphia on I-95, and Bobbitt had come to her rescue, using his last $20 to buy her gas. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to testify against co-defendants Marc D'Amico and Kate McClure.

Prosecutors contend a GoFundMe campaign ostensibly set up to help Bobbitt was a lie meant to enrich all three.

The story went viral, but it soon fell apart when Bobbitt filed a lawsuit last August against McClure and D'Amico claiming that they were withholding funds from the GoFundMe.

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The fraud didn't stop with the GoFundMe page, according to prosecutors. The couple allegedly spent the funds on a luxury vehicle, gambling and vacations, among other things, prosecutors said.

GoFundMe has since refunded all the money donated to the campaign. McClure pleaded guilty to one federal count of wire fraud conspiracy. He will be sentenced on the federal charge at a later date.

D'Amico doesn't face any federal charges. Her attorney James Gerrow said previous year that D'Amico was the one who drove the plot. He has denied any wrongdoing, the outlet reports.

Prosecutor Andrew McDonnell said Bobbitt has "a raging lifelong drug addiction", and the drug court sentence is an "opportunity" for Bobbitt and "not an absolution for his criminal behavior".

"The entire campaign was predicated on a lie", Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said at the time when he announced the charges. Any infractions could bring him a five-year prison sentence, according to Burlington County Prosecutor spokesman Joel Bewley.

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