A woman at the center of a GoFundMe scam that raised $400,000 from more than 14,000 people who thought the money was going to help a homeless man now claims she was duped into the fraud by her boyfriend.
A newly released tape, which aired on Good Morning America, purports to reveal a secretly recorded exchange between Kate McClure, 28, and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, 39.
"You started the whole f---ing thing. You did everything. I had no part in any of this, and I'm the one taking the f---ing fall," the woman, alleged to be McClure, can be heard saying in the recording.
A man, allegedly D'Amico, replies, "You don't go to jail for lying on TV, you dumb f--k."
"But who made me lie on TV?" the woman persists.
"Who cares?" the man shouts back.
McClure, D'Amico and homeless man Johnny Bobbitt Jr., are all facing charges of theft by deception and conspiracy after prosecutors say the fundraising campaign in November 2017 was based on a lie. The story they told the public was that McClure's car ran out of gas along I-95 in New Jersey and Bobbitt used his last $20 to help her get home. The feel-good tale generated media coverage and plenty of donations for Bobbitt, but over the next year the trio became entangled in a legal battle over the cash. In the course of that dispute, investigators say they uncovered information that the whole thing was a deliberate scam.
Prosecutors have alleged that all three used the money as their own personal piggy bank, taking trips, buying cars and other extravagances. Bobbitt admitted to using some of the money for drugs, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
In the recording, the man also references the money in the tapes, questioning the woman about the money she allegedly spent while on a trip to California.
"You act like you didn't spend a dollar. Stop it!," he allegedly says.
"I'm not acting like that. I never said I didn't spend a dollar," the woman replies.
The tapes were played on the air by James Gerrow, an attorney representing McClure. He claims his client was in an abusive relationship.
"One of the reasons that I provided you the tape was to show you the nature of that. From the start, Kate thought she was helping a veteran who was homeless and that Mr. D'Amico was the one behind this and he was calling all the shots," he told the morning show.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina, however, has alleged that McClure knowingly conspired with the Bobbitt and D'Amico and said they have significant evidence to prove it, including a text released last week in which McClure allegedly admits to a friend that at least a portion of the story was made up.
"Okay so wait the gas part is completely made up," she said in the message, according to the Inquirer. "I had to make something up to make people feel bad...So, shush about the made up part."
GoFundMe has said it plans to refund all the donations.
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