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Donors who fell for GoFundMe scam tied to homeless veteran get refunds

Accused $400,000 GoFundMe scam participant Johnny Bobbitt stands in Burlington County Court Friday December 14, 2018.

DAVID SWANSON/NY DAILY NEWS/TNS

By KATE FELDMAN | New York Daily News | Published: December 25, 2018

(Tribune News Service) — Thousands of people who opened up their wallets for a homeless man in a GoFundMe scam too good to be true got their money back just in time for Christmas.

GoFundMe confirmed Monday that 14,000 donors will be getting their money back from the scam, which raised more than $400,000.

“All donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded. GoFundMe always fully protects donors, which is why we have a comprehensive refund policy in place,” spokesman Bobby Whithorne told the New York Daily News.

“While this type of behavior by an individual is extremely rare, it’s unacceptable and clearly it has consequences. Committing fraud, whether it takes place on or offline is against the law. We are fully cooperating and assisting law enforcement officials to recover every dollar withdrawn by Ms. McClure and Mr. D’Amico.”

GoFundMe typically keeps 2.9 percent of each donation, as well as 30 cents for each transaction, according to the company website, but the full donation will be refunded, Whithorne said.

Prosecutors say Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless veteran from Philadelphia, schemed with Katelyn McClure and her ex-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, to create a story about how he gave his last $20 to buy gas for McClure, who was stranded at a gas station.

After sharing their story on GoFundMe, the threesome raised more than $400,000, which they allegedly spent on trips and luxury items.

McClure claims she was set up by Bobbitt and D’Amico, but their lawyers said she was in on the grift.

All three were arrested and charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.

They could face up to 10 years in jail if convicted.

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