Aspiring philanthropists Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico are in hot water after the $400,000 they raised in a GoFundMe campaign for a homeless man went missing. The man, Johnny Bobbitt, had given the couple his last $20 when they ran out of gas on a Philadelphia highway, and they wanted to repay his generosity.
According to media reports, a New Jersey judge hearing a civil lawsuit filed by Bobbitt ordered the couple to testify under oath on Sept. 10 about what happened to the money. They say it's gone, and Bobbitt claims it was stolen. An attorney representing McClure and D'Amico indicated that the couple planned to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, the reports say.
Both sides have given differing accounts about how much money got to Bobbitt. McClure and D'Amico claim they gave him more than $200,000, but his attorney says he got about $75,000. GoFundMe's fees were about $30,000. The couple has denied wrongdoing and said they were afraid that Bobbitt would spend the money on drugs.
McClure, a receptionist, and D'Amico, a carpenter, used the GoFundMe money on lavish vacations and a new BMW, which they couldn't otherwise afford, according to Bobbitt's lawyers.
It's unclear how much money they had left from the GoFundMe campaign, which promised to use the funds to buy Bobbitt a home and his dream car, a 1999 Ford Ranger. D'Amico has admitted that he used $500 on gambling at a casino, which he paid back.
In an appearance last week on "Megyn Kelly Today," the couple said that $150,000 of the money remained, days after telling the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News that $200,000 was left. Soon after the TV appearance, D'Amico urged Bobbitt in a text message to get rid of his lawyers, according to the Inquirer.
"I say I get rid of my team of lawyers you get rid of yours and Kate and I write you a check," D'Amico wrote in the message, according to the Inquirer. "Seriously… no bull–."
Eventually, Bobbitt wound up back on drugs, living on the street and panhandling for food. He's reportedly getting treatment at a detox facility.
GoFundMe has deposited $20,000 into an escrow account for Bobbitt while the investigation into the possible misuse of funds continues, according to the Inquirer. The home of McClure and D'Amico was raised by law enforcement officials, the paper said.
No criminal charges are pending. A spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office didn't respond to a request for comment for this story. Neither did any of the attorneys connected to the case or GoFundMe.
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