Katelyn McClure of Bodentown, New Jersey was sentenced to prison for a viral GoFundMe scam she orchestrated on behalf of a homeless veteran. McClure raised over $400,000 using the GoFundMe platform and promoted it as a page to raise money for a man named Johnny Bobbitt, an alleged homeless man who helped her when she had run out of gas for her car in 2017.
The story of Bobbit giving the stranded Katelyn his last $20 when she had run out of gas hit the internet and news outlets and instantly went viral. Due to his generosity, Katelyn and her boyfriend at the time Mark D’Amico created a donation page to help get him off the streets and help with additional living expenses, with a goal of just $10,000. But the internet worked its magic and when the story of Johnny Bobbitt’s kindness made its rounds, people wanted to help. Over 14,000 people donated to the page and they raised over $400,000 in less then three weeks.
But, there was one problem, Katelyn never ran out of gas and Bobbitt never gave up his last $20 to help. Ms. McClure & Mr. D’Amico orchestrated this idea which would scam donors of their money. The transferred all the funds into bank accounts they had full control of & spent the money for personal wants and needs.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman sentenced Ms. McClure to one year and one day in prison, due to the viral scam.