US woman pleads guilty to raising money for homeless man, then keeping it

Kate McClure, left, and Johnny Bobbitt.
Photo credit: Kate McClure/GoFundMe

A US woman who raised more than US$400,000 (NZ$600,000) for a homeless man has pleaded guilty for her part in the GoFundMe scam.

Katelyn McClure's plea in the Burlington County Superior Court in New Jersey on Tuesday (local time) comes after Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless military veteran, was sentenced on Friday for his role in the scheme.

The pair - along with McClure's former boyfriend, Mark D'Amico - are alleged to have fabricated a heartwarming story involving Bobbitt.

The tale, which went viral across the world, was that Bobbitt had rescued McClure from the side of a Philadelphia highway and paid for her fuel, despite having limited money of his own as a homeless person.

It's this story that was used to solicit donations through GoFundMe.

D'Amico has denied wrongdoing.

Authorities say the scheme "was designed to pull at the heartstrings of caring, trusting individuals", AP reports.

An investigation was started last year, after Bobbitt sued the couple for allegedly not giving him his share of the money.

GoFundMe said it refunded the donations.

McClure faces sentencing on state charges in June, according to AP.