A New Jersey couple who started a GoFundMe campaign for a homeless veteran last year, which raised $400,00, apparently began spending the money immediately, according to the veteran’s lawyer.
New York Post reports Jacqueline Promislo, a Philadelphia-based lawyer representing Johnny Bobbitt Jr., said that Kate McClure, a Bordertown woman Bobbit spent his last bit of money on when she ran out of gas on an interstate, started spending donation money meant for Bobbit almost immediately after depositing the donations. Promislo said it wasn’t just McClure spending the money, but also McClure’s boyfriend, Mark D’Amico.
“They went on shopping sprees,” Promislo told the Post. “[Bobbitt] tells me they had a Louis Vuitton bag and Chanel sunglasses, a new iPhone 10….I know they spent a lot of money, [but] until we have a forensic accountant go through it, I can’t say that they spent his money. But now that they say there is no money, where did it go?”
— New York Post (@nypost) September 9, 2018
Promislo said that she felt the couple gave Bobbitt around $68,000, leaving $300,000 after GoFundMe fees.
“There is in my mind about $300,000 that was raised for Johnny that he doesn’t have — and that they now say they don’t have.”
Promislo added that Bobbitt is a “sweet” person who, despite the current circumstances, still talks positive of McClure.
“Even [Friday], he said to me—- when we were meeting and going over his bank account — he said, ‘You know, Kate’s a very nice woman. I said, ‘You were also given very little money when you were living in a trailer in her driveway.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Bobbitt’s story made national headlines last year after he gave his last $20 to McClure after she ran out of gas while on Interstate 95 in Kensington, Pennsylvania. While McClure waited inside her car, Bobbitt, who told her the area is unsafe and to lock her doors, walked to a nearby gas station, bought a red gas can and filled it with gas. He then brought the gas can back to McClure’s car and filled the tank.
Afterward, McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, created a GoFundMe fundraiser for Bobbitt, in an attempt to repay him helping McClure. The fundraiser ended up attracting around 14,000 people who donated $400,000, specifically to help the homeless veteran obtain a home, transportation, and a new start in life. Yet, according to Bobbitt, the couple kept the majority of donations to themselves.
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 Bobbitt sued the pair. Bobbitt 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.
Bobbitt 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 Bobbitt 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 demanded that the pair provide a full account of where the money was spent, and give any and all remaining donation money to Bobbitt.
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.
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) September 8, 2018
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.
Shortly after the court date, the FBI executed a search warrant at the couple’s Florence Township, New Jersey, home, where local reporters spotted them towing away McClure’s black BMW.
The next scheduled court hearing in the civil matter is scheduled for September 14 at 2 p.m.
[Feature Photo: Johnny Bobbitt Jr. and Kate McClure/GoFundMe]