What to Know
- John Bobbitt was charged in New Jersey with conspiracy and theft by deception for an alleged GoFundMe scheme involving a fake story.
- Officials are charging him and two other conspirators with defrauding the public and fraudulently raising $400,000.
- Bobbitt, who remains behind bars after his arrest in Philadelphia, waived extradition Thursday.
The homeless man who became famous, and then notorious, for allegedly fabricating a story in order to raise money for himself and his conspirators is headed to New Jersey where the scheme apparently unfolded, according to prosecutors.
Johnny Bobbitt waived extradition back to Burlington County at a brief hearing in Philadelphia Thursday morning.
The 35-year-old will be sent to New Jersey once his pending legal matters in Pennsylvania are resolved to face fraud charges stemming from an elaborate GoFundMe scheme.
U.S. & World
The Marine vet won't be sent back to New Jersey until he attends a probation violation hearing that's scheduled for Monday in Philadelphia.
Bail has also been revoked for Bobbitt, who has remained behind bars since his Nov. 14 arrest.
Bobbitt was charged in Burlington County with conspiracy and theft by deception for an alleged GoFundMe plot that "hoodwinked an awful lot of people," authorities said.
The so-called conspiracy involved South Jersey residents Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico. A photo circulated on the internet showing McClure and Bobbitt on the side of Interstate 95 last year after Bobbitt had supposedly used his last $20 to help the woman fill her gas tank.
Soon, the heartwarming story landed on a GoFundMe campaign that went viral and raised raised more than $400,000 from thousands of people.
But once the relationship soured, law enforcement officials investigating the case stumbled on a 2012 Facebook post from Bobbitt. It was of a photo, very similar to the one of Bobbitt and McClure, featuring the homeless man with a different woman in North Carolina. That woman had apparently run out of gas and had a flat tire in a Walmart parking lot, prosecutors said.
Bobbitt claimed to have used the last of his “supper money” to help her out, Burlington County prosecutor Scott Coffina said.
“I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” he said.
The accusation is part of an ongoing investigation into Bobbitt, McClure and D’Amico. Prosecutors contend that the trio conspired to create a fraudulent GoFundMe campaign and keep the money for themselves.
The scheme could have worked had McClure and D'Amico not kept more than agreed for themselves, fraud and forensic expert Howard Silverstone said.
“If the three of them would have … divvied up the money and gone about their business, no one would have any reason to question it,” he said.
Instead, the group became entangled in a bitter court battle that has led investigators to charge all of them for fraud.
McClure and D'Amico had been dating at the time of the conspiracy, but they have since broken up. McClure has publicly blamed her ex-boyfriend for masterminding the plot and is claiming innocence.
Earlier this month, McClure's attorney released audio of her and D'Amico fighting about who was responsible for defrauding well-intentioned donors.
The exchanges between the former couple grew increasingly heated throughout the 11-minute recording. At one point, McClure cried as D’Amico screamed that she was a “weak slob” and letting a “junky” get between them.