Saturday, 22 September, 2018

'There's no money left': Homeless veteran's GoFundMe account empty

Homeless war veteran Johnny Bobbitt 34 used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of stranded motorist Kate Mc Clure in Philadelphia in November 2017. She raised $545,000 for him on GoFundMe but Mr Bobbitt's lawyer claims the money is gone and he never They raised $400,000 for a homeless vet. There’s none left to give him, lawyer says.
Ray Hunter | 07 September, 2018, 09:53

In the meantime, the courts are handling this dispute, with a judge ruling last week that the couple must provide a full account of the money's whereabouts.

Last week, Bobbitt filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey couple who had raised more than $400,000 on GoFundMe to help him rebuild his life, alleging they'd withheld the money and spent it on vacations, gambling and a luxury vehicle.

D'Amico told the paper during an interview in August that he controls the money in the account and that he would dispense the funds when Bobbitt gets a job and stops using drugs.

Since then, Bobbitt has expressed concerns the couple was using money from the campaign for travel and shopping sprees. One went so far as to say that McClure is the one who raised the money so how much of it she gives to Bobbitt is up to her.

Mr Bobbitt claims the couple spent money on holidays and a new BMW.

Bobbitt's lawyer claims the couple spent almost all the money, but they claim otherwise. 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 records within 10 days; per NJ 101.5, they missed that deadline.

With the help of two pro bono lawyers, Bobbitt sued McClure and D'Amico for the missing money last week.

She added that lawyers will now begin "expedited discovery" to see if any of the funds can be recovered.

McClure set up the online fundraiser page as a way to give back to Bobbitt, who came to her aid when she ran out of gas on an Interstate 95 exit ramp late one night.

GoFundMe said it is working with law enforcement to ensure that Bobbitt receives all of the almost $400,000 raised on his behalf, though his attorney says he's learned there may be nothing left after earlier disbursements.

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Eventually, the relationship soured sometime after Bobbitt received roughly $75,000 of the funds.

At an injunction hearing on Thursday, the couple's lawyer, Ernest E. Badway, told Dow that the 24-hour deadline would be hard to meet over the holiday weekend.

Homeless veteran Johnny's Bobbitt's lawyer claims there is "no money left" in the GoFundMe account created for his client.

Bobbitt accused McClure and D'Amico of mismanaging the donations raised. Some of the money GoFundMe donors gave to him ended up in the pockets of drug dealers, Bobbitt told the Inquirer.

In court last week, Badway said that Bobbitt had received at least $200,000 of the funds, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Johnny Bobbitt Jr., left, Kate McClure, right, and McClure's boyfriend Mark D'Amico pose at a CITGO station in Philadelphia. They didn't buy Bobbitt's dream vehicle, they bought him different used auto, also registered under McClure's name. D'Amico's story has changed over time, but in the course of a week, he alternately said that $US150,000 ($207,537) and $US200,000 ($276,715) was still left of the money.

GoFundMe rep Bobby Whithorne says the company is working with law enforcement to ensure that Bobbitt gets the money raised for him, the AP reports.

GoFundMe tells CBS3 that they are working with authorities to ensure Johnny receives all of the funds raised on his behalf. "I think that's a ludicrous request", Judge Dow said about Badway's request to put this on hold until Bobbitt is done with his month-long treatment program. "Write what you want", he said last week.

Last year, a New Jersey couple raised $US400,000 (that's around AU$553,431) on GoFundMe to help a kind homeless man get his life back together.

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