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GoFundMe returns $403,000 to donors in NJ scam

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Mark D’Amico (left), Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbit Jr. are charged in the case, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.


Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office/ Screenshot by CNET

GoFundMe has returned $403,000 to 14,000 people who believed they were helping a homeless veteran.

The crowdfunding site said Monday that all donations have now been refunded, as have processing and administration fees, according to CBS News.

A New Jersey couple, Katelyn McClure and Mark D’Amico, started a fundraising campaign on the site in November 2017 after Johnny Bobbitt Jr. allegedly gave McClure $20 when her car ran out of gas. The campaign’s goal was to raise $10,000 to help Bobbitt with rent and living expenses. The campaign went viral and raised more than 40 times that amount.

However, New Jersey prosecutors said last month that the three made up the story and were actually working together on a scam to raise and split whatever people would donate. All three were charged last month with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. An attorney for the couple declined to comment, according to CBS News.

McClure and D’Amico were scheduled to appear in court Monday, but their attorneys waived the hearing, a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office said in an email to CBS News. Prosecutors are currently working to present the case to a grand jury, the spokesman said.

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