Lawyer for homeless man: $400K in donations is all gone
MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — The lawyer for a homeless man in Philadelphia whose selflessness led to donations of over $400,000 through an online fundraising page said Tuesday that all the money is gone.
Johnny Bobbitt’s attorney, Chris Fallon, said he learned to his surprise that the cash was gone during a call with lawyers for Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico.
“Shocked. Shocked,” Fallon said when he heard word. “They raised this money to help Johnny Bobbitt get money for food.”
McClure and D’Amico are the couple accused in a lawsuit brought by Bobbitt of mismanaging donations raised for him through GoFundMe. The couple deny the claims in the suit, saying they’re wary of giving Bobbitt large sums because they fear he will buy drugs.
GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne says the company is working with law enforcement to ensure that Johnny Bobbitt gets all the money raised for him after he used his last $20 to help a woman get gas.
“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,” Whithorne said in a statement.
He also said the company gave $20,000 to an account set up by Bobbitt’s attorney “to provide assistance” to him during the investigation.
McClure and D’Amico’s attorney, Ernest Badway, told The Associated Press they have no comment.
The story has gained international attention.
McClure set the page up to give back to Bobbitt, a Marine veteran who helped her when she ran out of gas on an Interstate 95 exit ramp late one night. It raised more than $400,000 from more than 14,000 people.
Bobbitt walked a few blocks to buy McClure gas. She didn’t have money to repay him at the time, but sought him out days later to give him the money, and visited him a few more times to bring food and water. They later appeared on shows like “Good Morning America” and were interviewed by the BBC.
The relationship has since deteriorated.
McClure and D’Amico have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or misusing any of the money. D’Amico has told the Philadelphia Inquirer he spent $500 of the GoFundMe money to gamble because he didn’t have his casino card one night, but said he repaid it with his winnings.
D’Amico has said Bobbitt spent $25,000 in less than two weeks in December on drugs, in addition to paying overdue legal bills and sending money to his family.
The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the funds and parked it on land McClure’s family owns in Florence, New Jersey. But Bobbitt became homeless again after D’Amico told him in June that he had to leave the property.
During an appearance Monday on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” show, D’Amico told Kelly there was well over $150,000 left of the donations.
Fallon said Bobbitt had received about $75,000, including the camper as well as a 1999 Ford Ranger.
The New Jersey judge in the case ordered the couple to transfer the money into an escrow account by Friday and hire an accountant to review financial records within 10 days.
The money will be transferred to an account controlled by Bobbitt’s lawyers but can’t be used until the judge determines how it will be managed.