Homeless guy couple scam report hurts all of us (Opinion)
Last year America's heart was lifted by the story of Katie McClure and Johnny Bobbitt. Katie was driving her car on 95 and ran out of gas. Along came Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless vet, who dug into his own pocket and with his last 20 dollars walked to get her a can of gasoline and get her on her way. He lived there, the story went, alongside the highway. He saw a woman in need and have his last penny to help her.
So touched by the kindness of this homeless man Katie and her boyfriend Mark D'Amico decided to set up a GoFundMe page for him. The story went viral and people responded in droves. Close to half a million dollars was raised for the veteran. The three of them made the rounds on morning talk TV shows.
Then the squabbling began. Accusations from Johnny that they didn't hand over the money meant for him and instead spent it on lavish trips and cars. The couple fired back that they gave him money and he squandered it. Dollar amounts were argued. It went to court.
NBC Philadelphia is now reporting that while this was all being worked out, quietly behind the scenes an investigation began. The news outlet is reporting today that a complaint claims it was all an elaborate scam. NBC Philadelphia is reporting that the three are now facing charges for having concocted the entire story simply to set up and bilk the public. If true, I imagine the internal squabbling was real. Kind of like in the movie Goodfellas after the Lufthansa heist when bad guy turned on bad guy once the greed set in.
According to NJ.com Johnny Bobbit has turned himself in to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia with a bail set at $50,000 and Mark D'Amico had been processed at the Burlington County Jail. It's unclear if McClure has turned herself in but all are reportedly facing charges of conspiracy and theft by deception.
Knowing all this is a heartbreaker. People who are cynical get a reputation for being cold-hearted and refusing to see the good in anyone. Here was a story that made even the most cynical among us feel like maybe there was some hope for mankind after all; that people really are basically good. I still believe that. Yet it takes a little more effort to believe that after hearing the NBC report.
If this is all true, and this all was a well thought out scam story designed to go viral, it worked like a charm. In fact it probably exceeded the scammers expectations and that's probably where the greed set in. If convicted, there had better be some serious jail time for all three involved. There's an old saying that goes you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
This definitely seems to be a case of fooling all of the people some of the time.
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