NJ GoFundMe scam case ends with scam sentencing (Opinion)
We all remember it. It feels like a lifetime ago when a homeless veteran named Johnny Bobbitt gave the last dollar in his pocket to help Katie McClure, a damsel in distress who ran out of gas on 95 in Philadelphia.
It made social media, went viral, and a GoFundMe account was set up by Katie and boyfriend Mark D’Amico to raise money for poor Johnny.
Only the story wasn't true. And if there ever were good intentions they didn't stay good for long. The couple pocketed most of the nearly half million dollars raised and lived a lavish lifestyle until it all went off the rails.
There were fraud charges and convictions and sentences. In the end, Katie McClure was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. D'Amico was sentenced to 27 months.
Then came Johnny. This week he was sentenced to three years probation. No jail time for his role in this scam. I can't help but feel the same misplaced sympathy for this troubled figure that led to the generous donations worked on the court system as well.
Let's remember that he was pushing this lie just as much as McClure and D'Amico. Let's remember the original goal of the GoFundMe was to raise $10,000 but then took on a life of its own. When Bobbit sued the couple, he had already been given about $75,000 of the money but wanted more. His greed was just as palpable as theirs.
Bobbitt was put into the Recovery Court program, which is for people suffering from addiction to seek treatment instead of incarceration. Must be nice to have that as a scapegoat.
I'm all for the program when it's criminal charges directly related to drugs. But this had nothing to do with that. This was greed. This was lying. Federal charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Yet he gets probation and McClure spends a year in prison and D'Amico more than two. Too bad for them they didn't have an addiction to point to, I guess. The justice doled out in this scam case feels like a scam of its own.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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