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Fiona Simmons July 25, 2022 2 min read
Woman Who Scammed GoFundMe Donors to Gamble and Live in Opulence Sentenced
Katelyn McClure will spend the next three or so years in prison after she was sentenced for theft by deception in a case involving a GoFundMe campaign. She and her boyfriend, along with a third person, stole close to $400,000 out of do-gooders. McClure used the money on gambling, a luxurious lifestyle, and other expenses with the money collected under false pretense and undermining the institution of donating.
McClure Makes Up a Story
McClure pled guilty to one count of theft by deception in the second degree. In 2017, McClure said that she ran out of gas and had no money to purchase additional fuel. Then, a homeless person, Johnny Bobbitt, purportedly came to her rescue offering $20 so that she can buy fuel.
She and her boyfriend at the time, Mark D’Amico, posted the story on social media and subsequently launched a GoFundMe campaign that sought to help the homeless person for his act of generosity. More than 14,000 people responded to the campaign and the scammers made away with $367,000 after additional fees were collected.
The couple then went on a spending spree, buying a BMW, spending New Year’s in Las Vegas, gambling in casinos, purchasing luxury items and so much more. Bobbitt received just $75,000 from the total funds and he sought to remedy the situation by suing the couple. Bringing the case against them soon made everybody realize that McClure and D’Amico did not have the best of intentions when they started the GoFundMe project at all.
However, Bobbit was not entirely blameless. He and the couple met near a casino, investigators uncovered. In fact, the trio planned the scam together – more or less. One of McClure’s friends received a text from her after a conversation about the veracity of the story. She said that while the gas part was made up, Bobbitt himself existed.
Everyone Gets What’s Coming to Them
However, she needed something “to make people feel bad.” After bringing the case, Bobbitt pled guilty to committing theft by deception back in 2019 and was given five-year special probation along with drug treatment. D’Amico also pled guilty and agreed to reimburse GoFundMe donors and serve a five-year jail sentence in New Jersey state prison. This left only McClure whose fate has been sealed.
Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.