Homeless Man From GoFundMe Scam Released From Jail

A homeless man who played a role in a crowdfunding scam that went viral, and then later arrested for his involvement, was released from jail Friday on conditions of attending meetings and wearing an electronic monitor.

Johnny Bobbitt, a Philadelphia resident who was the homeless man in an alleged GoFundMe scam, was released Friday on conditions he attend Narcotics Anonymous meeting three times a week, wear an ankle bracelet and not have any contact with the two suspects — Mark D'Amico, 35, and Kate McClure, 28 — according to nj.com.

The backstory is that Bobbitt was a homeless man who gave McClure his last $20 so she cold get gas for her vehicle. Touched by the generosity, D'Amico and McClure then launched a GoFundMe page that told the story and asked for donations to help Bobbitt. The money poured in, with 14,000 donors ponying up more than $400,000.

The story that seemed to good to be true caught fire on the internet, and soon after, local law officials sniffed out what they believed to be a scam. The three suspects were later charged in November with theft by deception and conspiracy.

"The entire campaign was predicated on a lie," said Burlington County prosecutor Scott Coffina. Prosecutors said D'Amico and McClure ultimately scammed Bobbitt by taking the money for themselves and disregarding their third wheel.

D'Amico and McClure turned themselves into authorities in early November, and Bobbitt was arrested a week later in Philadelphia.

In addition to the conditions of Bobbitt's release, he can live in his Philadelphia apartment, but he's not allowed to contact D'Amico or McClure, whether he knows them or not.

"You may not know who they are, but don't go reaching out to them," Judge Mark Tarantino said.

Last week Bobbitt applied for drug court, and he's still waiting on that status. The judge said Bobbitt is taking the right steps needed to clear himself of any charges, something that Bobbitt will accomplish once he completes any and all drug courts and nicotine meetings.

"Most importantly, sir, is you need to maintain your sobriety," Judge Tarantino said to Bobbitt. "Only good things can come from that."

The judge then expressed good wishes to Bobbitt, who kept all responses Friday to "yes, sir" and no, sir."

As for McClure, she claims to have been snookered into believing D'Amico that they were doing the right thing by raising money for a homeless man, a claim that D'Amico's attorney refutes.