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Mark D'Amico Pleads Guilty in GoFundMe Scam; Brian Laundrie Shot Himself; 8 Charged w/ PUA Fraud
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 11/23/21 5:25 pm | updated: 11/23/21 5:25 pm
A New Jersey man accused of being the ringleader in a $400,000 GoFundMe scam involving his girlfriend and a homeless man pled guilty in federal court on Monday, 11/12. 42-year-old Mark D'Amico pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt Jr. previously pleaded guilty to state and federal charges. The three of them concocted a feelgood story that homeless man Bobbitt gave his only $20 to McClure for gas after she became stranded on I-95. The story continues that McClure and D'Amico decided to create a fundraiser out of gratitude for his kindness. The GoFundMe campaign and the story of Bobbitt's 'generosity' grew exponentially. The truth is that the episode on the highway did not happen. The three met near a Philadelphia casino a few months earlier and devised the plan. They may have gotten away with it, however, the couple spent the money lavishly. Part of the ruse was for Bobbitt to get treatment and living necessities, like food, housing, transportation, but the couple wasn't really giving him any of the money. He sued for his share and forensic accountants discovered what had been going on.

A forensic anthropologist has determined the cause and manner of death of Brian Laundrie. "Chris and Roberta Laundrie have been informed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was suicide," family attorney Steve Bertolino said. "Chris and Roberta are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families." Laundrie remains were found on October 20 in Myakkahatachee Creek Environmental Park in Florida. They were sent to the anthropologist after the Sarasota County medical examiner could not make a determination. His remains were found in a location that had previously been submerged during earlier days of the search. Laundrie was the sole person-of-interest in the death of his girlfriend 22-year-old Gabby Petito. She had been discovered on September 19 near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

US Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced theft and fraud charges against eight employees of the Philadelphia Police Department. These employees are accused of receiving and spending pandemic unemployment assistance that they were not eligible to receive. They are each charged with one count of mail or wire fraud and one count of theft of government funds. While they were working for the Philadelphia Police Department and collecting a city paycheck they were also collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. "Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds are intended to help Americans who are not working or who have experienced dramatically reduced working hours due to the pandemic, not people who are already gainfully employed," Williams said in a statement. "Thieves who attempt to take these funds are taking advantage of others' misfortune - ripping them off while also ripping off all taxpayers who fund the program. As alleged, these eight defendants fraudulently obtained funds that could have helped struggling individuals." Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw will suspend these eight for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

The employees include: 25-year-old Shannon Reynolds, 45-year-old Monica Pelzer, 28-year-old Yarelis Feliciano, 32-year-old Najah Harrell, 28-year-old Korey Kinard, 23-year-old Keely Maude, 50-year-old Tashika White, 55-year-old Paulette Johnson

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