Homeless vet in alleged GoFundMe scam released on bail

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 14, 2018 12:16 PM
GoFundMe scam.jpg

A picture of Katelyn McClure, right, Mark D'Amico, center, and Johnny Bobbitt Jr. is displayed during a news conference in Mt. Holly, N.J., Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Authorities say a New Jersey couple and a homeless man, Bobbitt Jr., made up a "feel good" story about the man helping them so they could raise money through an online fundraiser.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

This story has been updated with more details.

(Mount Holly, N.J.) -- A judge ruled a homeless veteran from Philadelphia who allegedly schemed with a New Jersey couple to scam GoFundMe donors out of more than $400,000 can be released from jail pending trial.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed at a court hearing Friday that Johnny Bobbitt will be released and live in his apartment in Philadelphia, subject to electronic monitoring. reported Bobbitt also will be required to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

"I'm happy he's out. He's happy to be out," Bobbitt's lawyer, John Keesler, told reporters.

Johnny Bobbitt mugshot.jpg

This November 2018 photo provided by the Burlington County Prosecutors office shows Johnny Bobbitt. (Burlington County Prosecutors Office via AP)

Burlington County prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint that Bobbitt conspired with Katelyn McClure and her former boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, to concoct a feel-good story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas.

They raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

All three face conspiracy and theft charges.

Through her attorney, McClure claimed last month that she was duped by D'Amico and genuinely thought she was helping Bobbitt. D'Amico's lawyer has denied the claims.

But prosecutors released texts from McClure including one sent less than an hour after the couple set up the GoFundMe page where she allegedly wrote to a friend that the "gas part is completely made up" and to "shush about the made-up stuff."

Prosecutors began investigating last summer after Bobbitt claimed he wasn't getting the money that had been raised on his behalf. He later sued the couple.

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