All of the donations made to a fraudulent GoFundMe page set up by a New Jersey couple and homeless man — who fabricated a story about donating his last dollar to put gas in a stranded woman’s car — have been returned.
The couple, Mark D’Amico and Kate McClure, created a GoFundMe page for Johnny Bobbitt Jr. — the conspiring homeless man — in November 2017 as part of an elaborate story the group actually concocted to deceive donors. The couple made national headlines for raising more than $400,000 for Bobbitt after receiving donations from over 14,000 people.
After investigators looked into the case and discovered the whole story was made up by the couple so they could raise funds for themselves and split their profit with Bobbit, who is allegedly addicted to drugs. GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said on Tuesday that “all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded,” according to the Associated Press.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraudulent behavior,” he added. “If fraud occurs, donors get refunded and we work with law enforcement officials to recover the money.”
The whole gimmick started to fall apart when Bobbitt, supposedly a homeless veteran, sued the couple in August for not giving him the entire $400,000 raised by the couple’s GoFundMe page.
The lawsuit alleged that they committed fraud by taking large portions of the fundraising money for themselves. It also claimed the couple bought an expensive car and took a vacation, which Bobbitt speculated they used the money they raised to pay for.
Investigators say the McClure, D’Amico and Bobbitt intentionally chose not to disclose information to their donors “that would affect their judgment about solicited contribution to that fundraising effort.”
They face charges of theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft of deception, according to Fox News.