Woman Who Was Panhandling ‘for Her Baby’ Had New iPhone X, $500 Purse

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 14, 2019US News
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Woman Who Was Panhandling ‘for Her Baby’ Had New iPhone X, $500 Purse
A person holds a mobile phone on July 13, 2012, in Paris. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/GettyImage)

A police department in New Jersey said that a woman who was attempting to beg for money had a new phone and an expensive purse.

The woman was holding a sign that had a picture of a baby and included the text: “I have 1 baby please in the name of God help me to buy baby stuff and diapers.”

But, according to the Union Police Department, officers approached the woman and found that she “was attempting to scam people” passing by her.

“She claimed to be from Romania and is now living in Queens. She was asking for cash for her baby, but they pointed out to her that she had a $500 purse, some jewelry, and a new iPhone X and did not appear to be in critical need of cash. Their investigation led her to admit that she and several other women got dropped off to panhandle throughout NJ,” police stated.

Our Street Crimes Unit officers found this woman walking in and out of traffic on Vauxhall Road at Hilton Ave. (Rt. 78…

Township of Union NJ Police Department 发布于 2019年3月11日周一

“She was issued a ticket for impeding the flow of traffic and received a township summons soliciting without a permit,” the Union New Jersey Police Department wrote.

“It is nice to be charitable, but it’s not a good idea to donate to someone on the side of the road with a sign. If you see someone who may need help, you can call our HQ and our officers will respond and assess,” the department added.

The woman was not named publicly.

Reactions

The department’s post circulated on Facebook, where users weighed in on what happened.

“Donate to reputable charities. Giving money to street panhandlers is not a smart idea,” said one user.

“If you want to donate, drop off a box of diapers or wipes. NO MONEY OR GIFT CARDS. Be smart,” said another.

“I knew she looked familiar. I see she polished up her look. She is usually around 33rd street and 6th avenue. I have seen her when I am running to catch my train at NY Penn Station. Kudos for letting her know not UNION!” said yet another.

“Wow and there’s people out there really struggling,” added another.

NTD Photo
Johnny Bobbitt during a hearing at Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly, N.J., on Dec. 14, 2018. (David Swanson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool, File)

Homeless Veteran and Woman Behind Scam Plead Guilty

The sham feel-good story that netted $400,000 has finally caught up with homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt, who on March 6 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Over 14,000 people donated to a GoFundMe campaign in 2017 in the wake of a viral story about Bobbitt using his last $20 to help out a woman who had gotten stranded on a Philadelphia highway in the wrong part of town.

That woman, Kate McClure, who took the story viral, was real—but the story wasn’t.

McClure, 28, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The two still face conspiracy and theft-by-deception charges in a pending case brought by Burlington County prosecutors, together with her former boyfriend, Mark D’Amico.

The guilty pleas came as part of a plea deal. According to ABC, Bobbitt 36, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and will be sentenced at a later date. However, some reports said he could face as little as 6 months in jail.

GoFundMe scam defendants pose for picture
(L-R) Johnny Bobbitt, Kate McClure’s boyfriend Mark D’Amico, and Kate Mcclure pose at a Citgo station in Philadelphia. (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Bobbitt told the court he helped concoct the story and opened a bank account in December 2017 to deposit $25,000 of the donations, according to the Inquirer. D’Amico helped him open the account, he said, and McClure deposited the money.

To encourage more donations, he allowed a photograph of himself with the couple to be posted online.

He appeared in various media interviews, repeating the story.

Bobbitt claims he played only a minor role in the scam and received only a small proportion of the money.

It was Bobbitt’s small share of the money that prompted the unraveling of the scam.

Almost a year after the story, Bobbitt announced he was suing the couple, claiming they that while they lived a lavish lifestyle with the latest phones and top-brand bags and sunglasses, he lived in a trailer on their driveway.

However, the ensuing police investigation uncovered far more than Bobbitt had intended, exposing how all three them had fabricated the story.

Epoch Times reporter Simon Veazey contributed to this report.

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