The sentencing of a woman who made up a feel-good story and raised more than $400,000 as part of a GoFundMe scam has been delayed until September.
Katelyn McClure, 29, has pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception in the second degree in Burlington County, New Jersey, and she is now expected to be sentenced on September 16, said Joel Bewley, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman.
“We are pleased that this defendant accepted responsibility for his role in this scam,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in a statement. “He will be required to make full restitution to GoFundMe and the donors — the true victims in this case — and has agreed to a five-year term in New Jersey state prison.”
He will be officially sentenced in April.
The charge, as well as a federal charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, stemmed from a viral 2017 story in which she supposedly ran out of gas and was stranded on I-95 in Philadelphia.
A homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., supposedly saw her and gave her his last $20 for gas, and McClure and her then-boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, posted about the “good deed” on social media and started a GoFundMe to raise money for him.
Prosecutors said the then-couple spent the money on a BMW, a New Year’s trip to Las Vegas, gambling in casinos, Louis Vuitton handbags and other items.
Bobbitt, who had been given $75,000, according to prosecutors, took civil action against D’Amico and McClure and the scam soon became public.
Bobbitt pleaded guilty at the local level to one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception and was put in a drug treatment program. If he fails to complete the program, he could be sentenced to five years in prison, according to prosecutors.
McClure pleaded guilty in April to second-degree theft by deception in a plea agreement. She agreed to a four-year prison term but has not been sentenced, prosecutors said.
Like D’Amico, both McClure and Bobbitt agreed to make restitution as part of their plea agreements.
CNN’s Eric Levenson and Laura Ly contributed to this report.