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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man who has already pleaded guilty in state court to participating in an online donation fraud scheme involving a homeless veteran was indicted Wednesday on federal charges.
Mark D'Amico faces a total of 16 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, the U.S. attorney's office said in a release. Federal investigators initially leveled the charges against the 40-year-old Bordentown resident in October.
Last month, D'Amico pleaded guilty in state court to misapplication of entrusted property and will serve a five-year term under an agreement with prosecutors.
D'Amico; his ex-girlfriend, Katelyn McClure; and homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt made up a story in late 2017 about Bobbitt giving $20 to help McClure when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia, prosecutors said. The group solicited donations through GoFundMe, purportedly to help Bobbitt, and did newspaper and television interviews.
The trio eventually raised more than $400,000 in donations. Authorities began investigating after Bobbitt sued the couple, accusing them of not giving him the money. The federal criminal complaint alleges all of the money raised in the campaign was spent by March 2018, with large chunks spent by McClure and D’Amico on an RV, a BMW, and trips to casinos in Las Vegas and New Jersey.
McClure and Bobbitt have already pleaded guilty to federal and state charges.
Authorities have alleged D'Amico was the ringleader and concocted the story.
A message was left with his attorney Wednesday evening.