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By Minyvonne Burke
A man allegedly involved in a GoFundMe scam that raked in more than $400,000 was arrested Wednesday morning in his hometown of Philadelphia, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey said in a tweet.
Authorities in New Jersey issued an arrest warrant for Johnny Bobbitt Jr., 35, after he failed to show up for a court appearance on Tuesday at the Superior Court in Burlington County.
He was taken into custody around 10:45 a.m. ET by the Philadelphia Police Department.
The prosecutor’s office said it will extradite Bobbitt back to New Jersey. Further details on his arrest were not immediately available.
Bobbitt, who was homeless at the time of the scam in 2017, is one of three people facing charges of second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.
In November 2017, Kate McClure, 28, and Mark D’Amico, 39, created a GoFundMe they said would help Bobbitt after he gave McClure his last $20 when she was stranded on a freeway in Philadelphia.
The story, which initially many believed to be true, made national headlines and went viral on social media.
However, Bobbitt filed a lawsuit alleging that McClure and D’Amico were withholding most of the donations raked in through the campaign. His suit led to an investigation into the case.
Prosecutors said in November of last year that the three had allegedly made up the story after text messages showed that McClure and D’Amico were having financial troubles. They are accused of spending the money from the GoFundMe on luxury vehicles and vacations to Florida and Las Vegas.
Prosecutors also said the couple allegedly got Bobbitt in on the scam.
GoFundMe has since announced that refunds were given to everyone who donated money.
If found guilty, Bobbitt and the couple face up to five to 10 years in prison.