GoFundMe says it has refunded more than $400,000 to people who donated money after hearing the fake story about a veteran who is homeless who gave his last $20 to a woman whose car had run out of gas.
Katelyn McClure and her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, went viral in 2017 after they posted their story to social media and set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to reward Johnny Bobbitt Jr. for his generosity. The crowdfunding endeavor had set a goal of $10,000 but quickly exceeded expectations, earning more than $400,000 with 14,000 people donating.
But the New Jersey tale unraveled after McClure and D'Amico spent at least half of the money, and then started to fight with Bobbitt in court. Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina then charged the trio in November with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception, saying the entire campaign "was predicated on a lie." If convicted, they face up to 10 years in jail.