N.J. Couple's $400,000 Donations for Homeless Man's GoFundMe Is Gone, His Attorney Says
The money raised for a homeless veteran through a GoFundMe campaign has allegedly disappeared
The New Jersey couple who helped raise over $400,000 for a homeless veteran through a GoFundMe campaign is being accused of withholding money, which has now gone missing.
In November 2017, Kate McClure’s car broke down on the side of the I-95 in Philadelphia. Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless man who was nearby, came to McClure’s rescue and gave her his last $20 to use for gas money. McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, later returned to thank Bobbitt for his kindness and decided to launch a GoFundMe campaign for Bobbitt as a way to repay the favor.
Since its initial launch, the campaign raised over $400,000. But now, that money has allegedly disappeared and the couple is being accused of withholding the money.
“There is no money left,” Bobbitt’s attorney, Christopher C. Fallon Jr., told NJ.com, adding that his client was “completely devastated” by the missing remainder of funds.
“Where the money went, I have no idea,” said the lawyer, who made the discovery of the missing money during a Tuesday morning conference call between the court and attorneys involved with the case. “It completely shocked me when I heard. It came as a complete surprise to me.”
Over the last year, McClure and D’Amico raised over $400,000 in donations. However, Bobbitt said he had not received most of the money and was forced to file a lawsuit to receive the remaining funds.
According to Fallon, Bobbitt has only been given $75,000 of that amount. Factoring in the GoFundMe fees of $30,000, Bobbitt is allegedly still missing $300,000.
McClure and D’Amico’s attorney, Ernest Badway, denied the claim in court and argued that the couple had provided Bobbitt with over $200,000.
Bobbitt hired legal professionals after becoming concerned that most of his funds were being used by the couple to purchase expensive vacations and new cars, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
McClure and D’Amico previously admitted that they did not immediately give the full amount of money to Bobbitt because he “struggled with drug addiction” and they “feared he would blow it all irresponsibly.”
Badway also said in court that his clients spent around $200,000 of the money on Bobbitt (including a $25,000 deposit for a bank account they helped him open) but he allegedly blew through that money in 13 days.
In the meantime, the courts are handling this dispute, with a judge ruling last week that the couple must provide a full account of the money’s whereabouts. Until it becomes clear, the remaining money must be turned over to Bobbitt’s legal team and kept in a trust.
According to CNN, the next court hearing on the dispute is expected for Wednesday morning in Mount Holly, New Jersey, and Fallon said requests are being made to review the couple’s financial records.
As for Bobbitt’s health, Fallon and his team are currently working to get Bobbitt admitted into a 28-day drug addiction recovery program to alleviate any concerns.
On Tuesday evening, GoFundMe released a statement explaining that the company deposited $20,000 into an account created specifically by Bobbitt’s legal team for assistance during the investigation.
“We are working with law enforcement officials to ensure Johnny receives all of the funds raised on his behalf,” the company said in a statement obtained by multiple outlets. “While we assist law enforcement with their ongoing investigation, GoFundMe is also working with Johnny’s legal team to ensure he’s receiving support while the remaining funds are being recovered.”