Johnny Bobbitt, homeless veteran involved in GoFundMe scheme, gets 5 years probation

first_imgimaginima/iStock(NEW YORK) — Johnny Bobbitt, who concocted a feel-good story with a woman and her boyfriend to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a GoFundMe campaign, has been sentenced to five years probation.Part of the terms of the probation sentence, which was handed down in a New Jersey court Friday, include that he attend a drug treatment program and cooperate with prosecutors in their case against his co-conspirators, according to ABC station WABC.If the probation is violated, however, he will be sentenced to five years in prison, WABC reports.The veteran pleaded guilty in March to the state charges of conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Bobbitt faces an additional, separate federal sentencing at a later date for one count of money laundering conspiracy, which he also pleaded guilty to in March.Bobbitt, 36, allegedly conspired with Katelyn McClure and her then-boyfriend Mark D’Amico in 2017 to create a page on GoFundMe’s website detailing how Bobbitt acted as a “Good Samaritan” and rescued McClure by giving her his last $20 when she ran out of gas along the highway.The website said that any donated funds would be used to get Bobbitt off the street and provide him with living expenses. The New Jersey couple set a goal of $10,000.But in truth, McClure’s entire story was bogus and Bobbitt never spent “his last $20” helping McClure, prosecutors said.Instead, McClure and D’Amico allegedly conspired to create the false story, authorities said. After the story went viral, approximately $400,000 was donated from more than 14,000 donors in just a matter of weeks, officials said.Bobbitt was informed of the scheme in mid-November 2017, when the donations had reached approximately $1,500, officials said. The following month, McClure and D’Amico deposited $25,000 of the proceeds into Bobbitt’s account, authorities said.While all of the money was supposedly going to help Bobbitt, prosecutors said the majority of the donated funds was allegedly spent, very quickly, by D’Amico and McClure on personal expenses including purchasing a BMW, expensive handbags, vacations and other personal items.Their tale inspired thousands, but things began to unravel when Bobbitt accused McClure and D’Amico of stiffing him out of the money, causing an investigation to be launched.McClure, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in March and faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Her sentencing is scheduled for June 19. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Hitting the books after hitting a wall

first_imgThis article is part of a series on the impact of humanities studies in and out of the classroom.Miguel Garcia is a student again, back on campus to complete his degree after a bipolar diagnosis changed the course of his education and life.“It’s been a challenge,” said Garcia ’17, a history and literature concentrator in American Studies. “I never thought I’d be back. But I don’t think any of those experiences have been in vain.”Garcia’s grit and resilience took shape in Detroit, where he grew up the son of Mexican immigrants. Neither his mom, who works in an industrial laundromat, nor his dad, a housekeeper at a casino, speaks English. Garcia was the first in his family to graduate high school. Discovering the humanities at Harvard Related University’s brightest share their stories in video highlighting the value of studying art and culture “I was initially rejected at Cass Technical High School because my test scores were pretty low, but I asked for another shot, and a guidance counselor said, ‘If you go to summer school here and get all A’s, I’ll let you in,’” he recalled. “I graduated as valedictorian.”His arrival at Harvard in 2010 was a bit of a culture shock. “I had never had a white friend before I came to Harvard,” he said. “Outside this campus we may have not have been friends, but Harvard makes a community where we all interact and share ideas.”He served on former College Dean Evelyn Hammond’s working group on BGLTQ Life to establish Harvard’s first such center, and co-founded Shade, a student organization for LGBTQ people of color. His studies were going according to plan.But then, in the fall of his junior year, his life took a turn into adversity. After a bipolar episode, Garcia left campus, returning home to Michigan to focus on his recovery.“I struggled to get medication right,” he said. “For about a year and a half, I did not leave the house. My older sister, Dolores, is a nurse, and she took care of me.”In time, he improved, eating better, exercising, and eventually finding work — first as an English teacher in a middle school near Detroit, then, inside the city lines, as a peer support specialist helping clients navigate the mental health system at Adult Well-Being Services.“It’s been my favorite job and I’ve been working since I was 14,” he said. “I can make a difference in someone’s life to someone who is going through something similar.”When he returned to Harvard last fall, after four years away, Garcia felt determined to finish his degree, but in tough moments found himself “afraid of failing again.” With his friends having graduated and moved on, he worried about making new ones. Happily, he quickly found support from many students and faculty, including Lorgia García Peña, an assistant professor of romance languages and literatures and of history and literature.In his humanities studies he also found meaning to help explain parts of his own narrative.“Both the study of history and literature deal with the nuances of the human experience — the beautiful, the brutal, and the mundane,” said Garcia, who is studying for the GREs and has plans for graduate school to get dual master’s degrees in public health and social work. “Having a foundation in liberal studies is really helpful when talking about challenges in modern society. I wouldn’t have had that if I had gone straight into the mental health field.”Peña, whom Garcia also credits with easing his transition back to Harvard, described her student as “incredibly engaged.” She recalled specifically his sharp observations while reading Arlene Davila’s “Latinos Inc.: The Marketing and the Making of a People” in her course “Performing Latinidad.”“He looked at the board where I had scribbled some concepts, then back at me, finally raising his hand, not with a question but with a critical observation about the role of the media in shaping cultural perceptions of Latinos in the U.S.,” she said. “It stayed with me, the seriousness with which he approached both the text and the question I had scribbled. I am most impressed about Miguel’s commitment to social justice — his passion about what is right and the fact that he takes actions to make his community better.”Garcia, who was recently honored with the 2016 Life Unlimited Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, said his battle with mental illness has allowed him to see his scholarship in a new light.“Before I was taking courses to put on my resume,” he said. “Now I’m thinking about how they can help me combat mental health stigma and help people access competent health care.”last_img read more

Loch’s Maple sets up stand at local market

first_imgMONTROSE, Pa. (WBNG) — For Labor Day weekend, Loch’s Maple set up their stand at the LaRue’s Farm Market. At LaRue’s, Loch’s has all of their famous maple specials, including maple milkshakes, maple cotton candy, and maple syrup. Loch’s Maple will be set up again tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Renee LaRue, LaRue’s Farm Market owner, says she came up with the idea after Randy and Jamie Loch came to visit the market themselves.  “I thought it would be a fun idea,” LaRue said. “I’m super busy on Friday’s and Saturday’s, so we thought why not throw it out there and see what happens.” For information, check out LaRue’s Farm Market’s Facebook page. Due to the pandemic, Loch’s Maple hasn’t been able to attend the fairs they used to sell their products at. last_img read more

EPL: Saints revenge heavy loss to Leicester

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Son fires four past Southampton EPL: Foxes attack Burnley Southampton banished the memory of their 9-0 defeat to Leicester back in October and moved six points clear of the relegation zone with a well-deserved 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium. Leicester midfielder Dennis Praet opened the scoring in the 14th minute but Stuart Armstrong’s deflected effort ensured Southampton, who hit the crossbar twice late in the first half through Danny Ings, went in at the break level. Saints thought they’d been awarded a penalty when Shane Long went down in the area in the 64th minute, but VAR determined that the Irishman was offside before he broke into the box. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were not to be denied though, and they eventually took the lead in the 81st minute as Ings finished past Kasper Schmeichel to continue his fine run in front of goal. With time ticking away, Jonny Evans appeared to grab a late leveller to seemingly deny Saints their revenge, but a VAR check determined Evans was offside as Southampton held on for what could prove to be a crucial victory.Tags: Danny IngsDennis PraetKing Power StadiumLeicester CityPremier LeagueSouthamptonlast_img read more