The Associated Press reports:
A New Jersey man who conspired with his then-girlfriend to cook up a feel-good story about a helpful homeless man and then used the lie to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations online was sentenced in federal court Friday to more than two years in prison.
Mark D’Amico will also have to serve three years probation once he completes his 27-month term. He also must pay restitution and undergo gambling, drug and mental health counseling.
The trio made up a story in late 2017 about Johnny Bobbitt giving $20 to help Katelyn McClure when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia, according to prosecutors. D’Amico and McClure solicited donations through GoFundMe, purportedly to help Bobbitt, and conducted newspaper and television interviews.
Law & Crime reports:
McClure and Bobbitt pleaded guilty back in March 2019 to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the DOJ noted.
(They also reportedly pleaded guilty in state court.) Both are currently scheduled to be sentenced on separate dates in late May in the federal proceedings.
D’Amico spoke to reporters after his sentencing, according to Philadelphia CBS affiliate KYW-TV. He said he could prove through text messages that the story was McClure’s idea, but prosecutors said he was the ringleader behind the scheme.
Mark D’Amico, an NJ man who conspired with his then-girlfriend to cook up a feel-good story about a helpful homeless man and then used the lie to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars on GoFundMe, was sentenced to more than two years in prison. https://t.co/c7M8Z9ZD3v
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) April 2, 2022
Boyfriend Behind $400,000 GoFundMe Scam Sentenced to 27 Months in Federal Prisonhttps://t.co/d8jYHT4fSN
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) April 2, 2022