Homeless Vet Will Get $400K in GoFundMe Donations Despite Couple's Alleged Fraud, Lawyer Says
Officials say Johnny Bobbitt will get all the money owed to him after he accused Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico of misusing the $400,000 they raised for him
What started as a good deed has turned into a headline-making criminal investigation after homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt accused Kate McClure and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico of misusing the $400,000 they raised for him in a GoFundMe campaign.
Now, however, officials say Bobbitt will get all the money owed to him, despite recent news that the thousands of dollars are all gone.
“We reached an agreement today with GoFundMe and they have agreed to make sure he will be made whole,” one of Bobbitt’s attorneys, Chris Fallon, told CNN.
GoFundMe officials announced the news in a statement on Facebook, writing, “Johnny will be made whole and we’re committing that he’ll get the balance of the funds that he has not yet received or benefited from. GoFundMe’s goal has always been to ensure Johnny gets support he deserves.” (A GoFundMe spokesperson did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
McClure, 28, and D’Amico, 39, were ordered last week by a judge to hand over the remainder of the GoFundMe funds to Bobbitt’s attorney’s law firm. However, earlier this week, Bobbitt’s attorneys said they learned that the money was allegedly all gone.
“It is safe to say that we were shocked and concerned when their lawyer told us Tuesday that there was no money left,” Bobbitt’s attorney, Jacqueline Promislo, previously told PEOPLE. “We are now doing some discovery on an emergency basis to try to figure out where the money went but at this time we have no further information.”
On Thursday, the Florence Police Department executed a search warrant at McClure and D’Amico’s apartment in connection with what Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina called a “criminal investigation,” according to a statement shared on Twitter.
GoFundMe officials have long said that they are working with authorities on the matter, and have set up an account with $20,000 with Bobbitt’s lawyers, according to Good Morning America.
Bobbitt, originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, first met McClure last October, when her car ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. Bobbitt famously spent his last $20 to buy gas for McClure. Moved by his kindness, she and D’Amico set up a GoFundMe page to help Bobbitt get back on his feet. More than 14,000 donated a total of $402,706 to the man.
In a complaint filed by his attorney and obtained by PEOPLE, Bobbitt accused the couple of fraud and conspiracy, alleging that the couple spent most of the funds on vacations to Las Vegas, Florida, and California, along with a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and a new BMW for McClure.
“I wish it didn’t come to this. I hate that it came to this,” Bobbitt previously told WPVI of the lawsuit. “I always felt like I was in a weird situation. I didn’t want to be pressuring to get a lawyer or do anything because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful.”
McClure and D’Amico have denied the allegations and spoke about the incident last week on Megyn Kelly Today, claiming that they went above and beyond to track down the man’s birth certificate and get him identification.
“He was our family. He is our family. I still think, to this day, that he is our family,” McClure told Kelly. McClure spoke through tears as she claimed the couple’s been receiving death threats.
“It’s so hard to deal with because these people are getting one side of the story,” she said. “Receiving death threats, and threats to burn my house down and threats against my family and everything like that is so hard to deal with when we know that we did a good thing. I still believe that we did a good thing and I would do it all over again. I would do it all over again for him.”