GoFundMe scheme: Kate McClure pleads guilty to state charge in New Jersey

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Kate McClure expected in N.J. state court
Kate McClure expected in N.J. state court: Jeannette Reyes reports on Action News at 4 a.m., April 15, 2019

The New Jersey woman involved in the GoFundMe scam that made national headlines pleaded guilty to a state charge on Monday.

Kate McClure, 28, was charged with 2nd-degree theft by deception. She will serve four years in state prison in exchange for pleading guilty to that charge on Monday.

The homeless veteran involved in the scheme, 36-year-old Johnny Bobbitt, pleaded guilty to both federal and state charges last month.

McClure's boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, doesn't face any federal charges. He was charged last fall in state court with theft and conspiracy.

D'Amico has denied wrongdoing.

35-year-old Johnny Bobbitt (left), 28-year-old Kate McClure (center), and 39-year-old Mark D'Amico (right)

TIMELINE: Key events in the GoFundMe hoax investigation

Prosecutors contend Bobbitt, McClure and D'Amico, made up the story in 2017 and even faked photos of themselves standing on the street at the scene of the purported exchange.

The trio gained widespread recognition, and more than 14,000 donors contributed through GoFundMe, ostensibly to help Bobbitt. But it was all a scam, Burlington County prosecutors said, intended to enrich the three co-conspirators.

GoFundMe has said it refunded the donations.

Watch the report from Good Morning America in the player above.

Their tale inspired thousands, but things began to unravel when Bobbitt accused McClure and D'Amico of stiffing him out of the money , causing an investigation to be launched.

The couple claimed the cash would be donated to Bobbitt, but New Jersey authorities said the three split the money and spent lavishly, including on a BMW, designer bags and trips to Las Vegas and elsewhere.

More than $85,000 in cash was withdrawn at, or near, casinos in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and in Pennsylvania, prosecutors have said.

Bobbitt claims he only received a small portion of the money raised. Chad Pradelli reports during Action News at 11 on August 30, 2018.
Burlington County Proseuctor Scott Coffina holds a news conference on arrests in the GoFundMe case on November 15, 2018.