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Homeless vet and woman plead guilty in $400,000 GoFundMe scheme

A homeless man charged with engaging in a $400,000 GoFundMe scheme has pleaded guilty in federal court. Johnny Bobbitt Jr. entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey, along with his co-defendant, Katelyn McClure, reports CBS Philadelphia. 

Bobbitt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, while McClure pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, the station reported.

The two still face local charges in Burlington County, New Jersey, along with a third co-defendant -- McClure's former boyfriend, Mark D'Amico.

Homeless veteran and couple accused of making up story for GoFundMe account

Prosecutors said Bobbitt conspired with McClure and D'Amico to concoct a story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 for gas when she was stranded along the highway. Prosecutors said the feel-good tale that made international headlines in 2017 was predicated on a lie. The three allegedly made up the story and conspired to split the proceeds.

According to authorities, D'Amico and McClure had actually known Bobbitt for at least a month before launching the GoFundMe page in November 2017, and had become acquainted with him during frequent trips to a local casino, reported CBS Philadelphia.

Bobbitt and the couple raised $400,000, which authorities said was spent on luxury items and casino trips. Prosecutors reportedly began investigating after Bobbitt said he wasn't getting money raised on his behalf. He later sued the couple.

In December, Bobbitt was released from jail with strict conditions for his release, reported CBS Philadelphia.

McClure's sentencing is scheduled for June 19. Bobbitt's sentencing will be scheduled at a later date. Bobbitt faces up to 10 years in prison, and McClure faces 20 years, CBS Philadelphia reported.

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne told CBS Philadelphia in December that "all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded" and the organization is cooperating fully with law enforcement.

"We have a zero tolerance policy for fraudulent behavior," he said. "If fraud occurs, donors get refunded and we work with law enforcement officials to recover the money."

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