On Tuesday, a spokesperson for GoFundMe announced that the company gave homeless veteran, Johnny Bobbitt, $20,000 to assist him during the investigation of a couple who allegedly kept donation money meant for him to themselves.
Nj.com reports that GoFundMe put $20,000 Bobbitt’s bank account “to provide assistance during the investigation” of Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico, a couple accused of donated money meant for Bobbit.
“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. “It’s important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors and beneficiaries are protected,” the statement said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Chris Fallon, lawyer for Bobbit, received a call this earlier this week from the attorneys for the couple. According to Fallon, McClure’s lawyers said that there was no money left from a GoFundMe account set up for Bobbit by the pair, which reached around $400,000, donated by roughly 14,000 people.
The couple met Bobbitt last November when They ran out of gas on I-95 freeway in Kensington, Pennsylvania. Bobbitt gave his last $20 to help the couple. In turn, the pair later started a GoFundMe campaign with all monies intended for Bobbitt.
Where Did the Money Go?
It’s unclear how or who spent all the money. However, a New Jersey judge ordered the couple last week to turn over any of the donations left after Bobbit sued the pair. Bobbit claimed they mismanaged the money and gave him only a portion of it, while keeping the rest to themselves.
McClure, a receptionist for New Jersey Department of Transportation, reportedly bought a new BMW and took several trips to different states, including California, Florida, and Las Vegas. She also took a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon.
Bobbit also suspected that D’Amico, a carpenter, spent some of the donation money on gambling.
According to Fallon, numerous requests to D’Amico to account for the GoFundMe money went ignored. Fallon said D’Amico left them no choice but to file a lawsuit.
“He’s really left us with no choice but to go forward.”
D’Amico appeared on the “Megyn Kelly Today” show and said more than $150,000 of the funds still remain. He previously told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he didn’t misuse the funds, yet admitted that he spent around $500 of it on gambling.
D’Amico also indicated they used a portion of it to buy Bobbitt a camper, which they placed on property owned by McClure’s family in Florence Township. D’Amico said he was kicked out in June and went through $25,000 given to him in a week due to drug issues. He claimed around half of the total funds raised were either given to Bobbitt directly or spent on him.
Regardless, a New Jersey judge disagreed. Along with demanding that the pair provide a full account of where the money was spent, the judge ordered any and all remaining money to be given to Bobbitt.
Bobbitt’s other attorney, Jacqueline Promislo told NBC she “very concerned” about how much money has been spent by the defendants. When asked if she planned to go after the couple’s personal assets, she insinuated it could be a possibility.
“We will represent our client to the best of our abilities to recover all of the money raised for him.”
It’s still unclear whether the couple will face criminal charges for the incident.
No-Show to Court
Meanwhile, D’Amico and McClure failed to show up to a court hearing on Wednesday to face civil the charges filed against them.
The couple apparently want to invoke the 5th Amendment right against “self-incrimination,” according to their attorney who was in court on their behalf. Yet, since the pair didn’t show up themselves for court, Superior Court Judge Paula Dow rejected the request.
The incident happened after Fallon said that although he was told all the money meant for Bobbitt is gone, he’s not quite sure he believes it.
“I’m not sure that I accept that it is all gone,” Fallon said in court Wednesday. “We would like to recover any money that is owed to Mr. Bobbitt.”
Fallon made a request Wednesday for all financial documentation from the couple.
The next scheduled court hearing is on September 14 at 2 p.m.
[Feature Photo: Johnny Bobbitt Jr. and Kate McClure/GoFundMe]