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January 16, 2019

GoFundMe Funds Fraud


If you saw someone drop a $20 bill in front of you, would you tell them? Many people would say, “no.” That is economic greed. When someone sees a lot of dollar signs in their bank account, they automatically feel happy. Money can’t buy you happiness, but this couple thought it would.

Mark D’Amico, Kate McClure, and homeless man Johnny Bobbitt Jr. were charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft. The couple, D’Amico and McClure, met Bobbit on a freeway, befriended him, and then came up with the plan that would change their lives. The plan was to say that Bobbit was a homeless veteran who gave McClure money for gas. A GoFundMe page was later created with a goal of raising $10,000 and surpassed that goal with a total of $402,706.

But the “entire campaign was predicated on a lie,” Burlington County prosecutor Scott Coffina said.

The couple decided to give Bobbit only $75,000 over time because they thought he would spend it on drugs. He went to the authorities, and that is when the story unraveled. The authorities confiscated the rest of the money from the couple, and they turned themselves in. It is unknown if Bobbit turned himself in.

This is a great example of economic greed because of people scamming others for their own benefit. Money plays a big factor in people’s greed because the mindset of having more money equals more happiness. GoFundMe does try to crack down on fraud campaigns, but it doesn’t always work. Fundraisers aren’t required to get back to GoFundMe to say how they used their money, and that is why it is so easy to become fraudulent.

About Tiffany VanGilst,

Tiffany Van Gilst is a senior at Pella High. When she was a freshman Tiffany had to claw her way to the top, just like everything else in her life. If you can't find her editing pages, you can find her playing the flute, hitting the wrestling mat, or staring into the distance.