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Mark D’Amico, accused GoFundMe scam ringleader, sentenced to 5 months in prison | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp


The alleged ringleader of a GoFundMe scam involving a homeless veteran was sentenced Friday in a New Jersey court. 

A Burlington County judge sentenced Mark D’Amico to 5 years in state prison for concocting a fundraising scam with his former-girlfriend, then using the lie to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations online. 

The 5-year sentence will be served congruently with a 27-month federal prison sentence that was handed down in April. That ruling also included a 3-year probation sentence, restitution and gambling, drug and mental health counseling.

He had pleaded guilty before Hillman in Camden in November to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. An indictment unsealed in January 2020 charged D’Amico with a total of 16 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering.

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He had already pleaded guilty to charges in state court last year. His former girlfriend, Katelyn McClure, and homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. previously pleaded guilty to state and federal charges. Bobbitt was sentenced to five years’ probation on state charges in 2019. Both are scheduled to be sentenced on the federal charges this year.

The trio made up a story in late 2017 about Bobbitt giving $20 to help 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. Investigators said D’Amico was the plot’s ringleader.

They eventually raised more than $400,000 in donations over about a month, according to investigators, who said almost no part of the tale was true. The group had met near a Philadelphia casino in October 2017 shortly before they told their story, prosecutors said.

Authorities began investigating after Bobbitt sued the couple, accusing them of not giving him the money. The federal criminal complaint alleged all of the money raised in the campaign was spent by March 2018, with large chunks spent by McClure and D’Amico on a recreational vehicle, a BMW and trips to casinos in Las Vegas and New Jersey.

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