What to Know
- Rep. Ron Dancer has introduced a New Jersey bill that would tighten penalties for online crowdfunding fraud schemes.
- Fraudsters who use crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe in their schemes would face mandatory jail time and have to pay restitution.
- Dancer says the bill was inspired by the headline-grabbing case involving Mark D'Amico, Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt.
A homeless veteran at the center of the ongoing GoFundMe scandal failed to appear in court Tuesday, prompting a New Jersey judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.
The latest twist came less than three weeks after John Bobbitt Jr. promised to make his next court day, prosecutors said.
But on Tuesday, it became apparent that was not going to happen.
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"I spoke to him in the last week. I expected him here," Bobbitt's lawyer, Jay Keesler, said.
Bobbitt has also failed to prove that he entered a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program or found a job and place to live, Burlington County Judge Mark Tarantino said.
Last week, New Jersey Republican Rep. Ron Dancer introduced a bill that would tighten penalties for fraud schemes like the one involving Bobbitt and a New Jersey couple who allegedly duped people into giving more than $400,000.
Convicted fraudsters who use crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe in their schemes would face mandatory jail time and have to pay restitution under his proposal, according to the bill.
Mark D'Amico and Katelyn McClure set up a GoFundMe page for Bobbitt in 2017 that brought in over $400,000. They said Bobbitt was homeless and used his last $20 to help a stranded McClure.
The pair and Bobbitt face charges including theft by deception. GoFundMe said it refunded everyone who contributed.