Update from fake homeless guy GoFundMe case from 2017

I’d forgotten about this. A couple claimed a homeless man gave the wife $20 for gas when she was stranded. They started a GoFundMe, supposedly for the homeless guy, that raised over $400,000. All three were in on the scam and it was only revealed when the homeless man sued them because they kept most of the money and blew it on cars and vacations.


Highlights for those that want them:

A woman who admitted her role in a scam that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars using a fake story about a homeless man received a one-year prison sentence in federal court Thursday.

Katelyn McClure was also ordered to make restitution and serve three years’ supervised release. The 32-year-old Bordentown, New Jersey resident is scheduled to be sentenced on state charges next month and could receive more prison time.

D’Amico, described as the group’s ringleader, pleaded guilty to federal charges and was sentenced in April to 27 months in prison. He was also ordered to make restitution and is scheduled for sentencing on separate state charges next month.

Bobbitt was sentenced to five years’ probation on state charges in 2019 and faces sentencing next month on federal charges.

Well, crap, there goes another of my retirement plans…

Let’s not forget they brought this on themselves when Bobbit sued the then-couple because they hadn’t given him enough of the take from GoScamMe; he only got about $75m of the $400m.


That case is STILL ongoing??!!?? I knew the wheels of justice turned slowly, but still!

I was confused for a bit until I realized those m’s should be k’s.

Isn’t @Spiderman the one who insists that lower case m means thousand? If so, I assume that this is a passive-aggressive post intended to elicit a correction, so that he can educate us once again on how his way is right and everyone else is wrong.

Moderator Note

This is basically a personal attack. Do not attack other users outside of the Pit.

Moderator Note

We are not in the bond industry. This is a message board, and you are well aware that your intentional usage of m instead of the standard k used in American English causes confusion. This is basically jerkish behavior. Do not intentionally use industry-specific abbreviations here, knowing that they cause confusion.

I think it’s terrible what this couple did, taking advantage of the kindness of others to scam money, and I think their sentence is justified.

I did wonder the other day though…I’ve heard that in many charitable organizations, a much smaller percentage of the money collected actually goes to the intended recipients than one might expect. A lot of it goes to ‘administrative overhead’-- rent on office buildings, salaries, etc. The homeless guy did get a chunk of the money. At what point does it change from ‘act of charity’ to crime? If the couple had taken just enough for a reasonable hourly wage for the time they took in managing the GoFundMe campaign and had given the homeless guy the rest, would it still have been a crime? Do you have to be properly licensed or something to act as a legal charitable organization in which the managers of the charity are compensated?

Again, not condoning what the couple did in any way. I’m more wondering how established charitable organizations get away with keeping a lot of the money when it’s a crime that this couple did it.

A reminder that this is far from the only case of GoFundMe fraud.

And even well-intentioned fundraising campaigns go to benefit dubious healthcare providers and outright quacks. There are multiple recent appeals on behalf of people who have been drawn to the Burzynski Clinic in Houston.

Geeze dude, the OP lead was only one paragraph long and this was in it!

I think they had the sentencing left before covid hit. I assume that was part of it. Still a long time tho.

Me too. I wonder how courts keep on top of restitutions after they get out of prison? Attachment to their social security number so it automatically is withheld? Since GoFundMe reimbursed all who donated, who gets the money? Does reimbursement just cover the costs GoFundMe had?

I remember this as being among the first that involved people scamming large amounts of money, rather than an organization of some kind. I wouldn’t be surprised now if a lot of them are just extra cash grabs. It seems wherever you read local news stories that had injuries or deaths, a GoFundMe pops up the very next day asking for money for hospital bills or funeral costs. Color me cynical, but I imagine that a lot of this cash covers things that the family would and could ordinarily cover by themselves.

I’ve seen a ton of these and I don’t even have to go looking for them. People really need to take a step back and realize it’s not always that the evil insurance company is denying coverage to save money. Sometimes it really is a waste of money for something with no health benefits.

That’s a great quote! Thanks.

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

–Eric Hoffer

The “homeless guy” wasn’t. He was in on the scam from the beginning.

Yes, if they hadn’t cheated him out of a equal share, they probably would have got away with it.

Good thing the Scooby gang was on the case!

The certainly would have. By the time the money was disbursed, everyone would have forgotten about it. They were all tripped up by their own greed and entitlement.

The son of a coworker died recently, and there was an email announcement about it to some subset of people who probably know the coworker. It included a link to a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of a funeral.

Now, I understand this is a hard time for the family, but this coworker is a middle manager at a huge multinational corporation. I make enough that I would be embarrassed to go around hat in hand to fund something like this, and coworker in question is undoubtedly making substantially more than me. I’m extremely dubious that even as inflated as funeral costs can seem, that this was going to be a real financial hardship for the family.

The GoFundMe page now has a permanent record of how much money any given friend or family member or acquaintance gave, along with their messages of condolence.

Now, it’s organized by a friend, and the email was from a different manager, but altogether it just seemed tacky and weird.

This is the kind of stuff I referred to. The GoFundMe page always appears long before the people have any idea what the cost will be. It often just seems like a money grab.

I’d like to have seen the look on their faces when the got served the notice that a homeless guy was suing them. I bet it never even entered their thoughts that would happen.