December 25, 2018 3:20 pm
Updated: December 25, 2018 3:22 pm

GoFundMe says it refunded people who donated over $400K in alleged scheme involving homeless man

Nov. 16: Tens of millions of people believed what seemed like a "feel good" story about a New Jersey couple helping a homeless man. Now prosecutors say it was a huge scam.

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GoFundMe says it has refunded everyone who contributed to a campaign involving a homeless veteran from Philadelphia who prosecutors allege schemed with a New Jersey couple to scam donors out of more than $400,000.

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said Tuesday that “all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded” and the organization is co-operating fully with law enforcement.

WATCH: Homeless man, couple accused of conspiring on fraudulent GoFundMe campaign

Burlington County prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that Johnny Bobbitt conspired with Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend at the time, Mark D’Amico, to concoct a feel-good story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas. They raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

Whithorne said campaigns involving misuse “make up less than one tenth of one per cent” of all GoFundMe campaigns, but such behaviour “is unacceptable” and “has consequences.”

“We have a zero tolerance policy for fraudulent behaviour,” he said.

“If fraud occurs, donors get refunded and we work with law enforcement officials to recover the money.”

McClure has alleged through her lawyer that D’Amico duped her. His lawyer has denied the allegations.

Prosecutors released texts from McClure including one sent right after the GoFundMe page was set up in which they allege she told a friend that the “gas part is completely made up.”

READ MORE: N.J. couple, homeless man charged over ‘fictitious and illegal’ GoFundMe campaign

Prosecutors began investigating last summer after Bobbitt said he wasn’t getting money raised on his behalf. He later sued the couple.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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