Mark D’Amico refuses to leave house where he lived with ex-girlfriend charged in GoFundMe scam
Mark D'Amico has been charged with trespassing for refusing to leave the house he shared with Kate McClure. The two have been charged in connection with a GoFundMe scam involving homeless veteran.
Mark D'Amico, accused with his former girlfriend of creating a fake GoFundMe account to help a homeless veteran that amassed more than $400,000, has refused to vacate the Burlington County home the couple once shared, according to court records.
A complaint summons filed in Municipal Court in Florence Township seeks to force D'Amico to vacate the property on Cedar Lane Extension where he once lived with Kate McClure. It was filed by McClure's grandmother, Leslie DeAngelo, who also lives in Florence.
D'Amico and McClure, along with Johnny Bobbitt Jr., the homeless man at the center of a bogus do-good story that went viral, were charged last week with theft by deception and conspiracy in connection with the GoFundMe campaign, which prosecutors allege duped more than 14,000 donors worldwide.
Prosecutors say the trio made up a story that McClure ran out of gas last November on I-95 in Philadelphia while driving home. Bobbitt, who was living on the streets nearby, came to her rescue and used his last $20 to help her, according to the story. McClure and D'Amico set up the GoFundMe campaign, which they said was designed to repay Bobbitt's kindness. They told donors they wanted to buy him a house and raise money to ensure his financial stability.
In her complaint, which charges D'Amico with trespassing, DeAngelo said she served D'Amico with a "Notice to Quit" on Oct. 2. advising him that the lease for the property had been terminated. D'Amico and McClure rented the property from DeAngelo.
"You must leave and vacate this rented property IMMEDIATELY. This means you must move out and deliver possession to your Landlord," the notice read.
DeAngelo, in a certification attached to the complaint obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News, said D'Amico said he would be out of the property by Nov. 1.
"We asked him to leave and he refuses," DeAngelo wrote. "He changed the lock so we can't get in to make sure everything is OK."
D'Amico was scheduled to appear in Municipal Court on Monday, but missed the date. His attorney, Mark Davis, said D'Amico was unaware of the hearing and described the complaint as "much ado about nothing."
A new date was scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday.
"I thought he had a lease to stay there," Davis said Wednesday. "You can't just put a note on someone's door and say, get out."
Davis, who does not represent D'Amico in the trespassing case, said he was unsure whether D'Amico was still staying on the property.
Municipal Prosecutor Andrew Smith could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
D'Amico and McClure split up after their story began unraveling once Bobbitt sued, alleging that the couple scammed him and that he had been denied what he believed was his fair share of the GoFundMe money. Bobbitt, who is addicted to heroin, admitted spending some of the money on drugs. The couple spent money on vacations, a gambling junket, a BMW, and designer handbags, prosecutors say.
In secretly recorded conversations played by her attorney this week for Good Morning America, McClure said she had no part in the scam. Her attorney has said that D'Amico concocted the bogus campaign and that McClure was an unwitting accomplice.
Davis dismissed the apparent attempt to mount a defense.
"If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. It's the most desperate act of a co-defendant to separate herself for any and everything that she possibly can," he said.
Meanwhile, NJ.com reported late Wednesday afternoon that McClure had been suspended from her state job. A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation told the website that she had been suspended. No reason was given and no other details were released.