Couple who raised $400G for homeless man ordered to testify
A New Jersey couple who raised $400,000 online for a homeless Good Samaritan must give sworn testimony detailing what happened to the money, a judge said Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge Paula Dow said that Katie McClure and Mark D’Amico must appear Monday for a deposition in a suit filed by Johnny Bobbitt over the whereabouts of the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for him via GoFundMe.
Dow chastised the pair’s attorney over “grandstanding” and said his clients have to appear in person to assert their right against self-incrimination. Bobbitt was also ordered to be deposed.
In court, McClure and D’Amico’s attorney, Ernest Badway, said about $200,000 had gone to Bobbitt, but Dow said Badway indicated he was “misadvised” by his clients and that later the court learned there was no money left. She said she wants them to appear in person. Neither the couple nor Bobbit was in court Wednesday.
“I am not allowing you to be their voice anymore,” said Dow, a former state attorney general.
Bobbitt’s story went viral in late 2017 after he gave McClure his last $20 for gas when she was stranded. She set up a GoFundMe page for him, which raised $400,000.
Eventually, the relationship soured sometime after Bobbitt received roughly $75,000 of the funds. He used the money to purchase a camper and SUV, but he has admitted he squandered some of on drugs. He no longer has the camper or SUV, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.
Bobbitt accused McClure and D’Amico of mismanaging the donations raised. The couple deny the claims.
Last month, D’Amico claimed that he controls the funds in the account and that he would dispense the money when Bobbitt gets a job and stops using drugs.
Last month, Dow ordered the couple to wire the remaining funds to a trust for Bobbitt by Friday, and submit an accounting report of the donated money.
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.
However, it seems that the account has been drained.
“It completely shocked me when I heard,” Chris Fallon, Bobbitt’s attorney, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Fallon said in court on Wednesday that Bobbitt is entering a 30-day residential treatment program. He has earlier said Bobbitt has a drug addiction.
GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said the company is working with law enforcement to ensure that Johnny Bobbitt gets all the money raised for him.
“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.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” show, D’Amico told Kelly there was well over $150,000 left of the donations.
Fox News’ Benjamin Brown and the Associated Press contributed to this report.