Homeless man will get his full $400000, GoFundMe says

by Abel Hampton September 10, 2018, 1:09
Homeless man will get his full $400000, GoFundMe says

Authorities executed a search warrant earlier Thursday at the home of Mark D'Amico and Katelyn McClure of New Jersey who raised $400,000 online for Bobbitt.

It was the latest twist in a onetime feel-good story about Johnny Bobbitt, who spent his last $20 to buy gas for McClure when she became stranded on a highway in Philadelphia past year, and the couple who found 14,000 people online who were so touched by his kindness that they donated to a fund to help him start a new life.

No charges have been filed against the couple as of Thursday evening.

It seemed like a feel-good story: A homeless man bought a stranded woman a tank of gas with his last $20, and in return she set up a GoFundMe campaign to help him get back on his feet that ultimately raised a whopping $400,000.

D'Amico has said Bobbitt spent $25,000 in less than two weeks past year on drugs as well as paying for overdue legal bills and sending money to family.

"GoFundMe and Cozen O'Connor on behalf of Johnny Bobbitt are pleased to report that [Bobbitt] will be made whole and we're committing that he'll get the balance of the funds that he has not yet received or benefitted from", says GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne in a statement to Fast Company. They were once considered good Samaritans for raising the money through a GoFundMe account for the destitute Marine Corps veteran and former firefighter Johnny Bobbitt, Jr.

"We're fulfilling that commitment and we will continue to work with Johnny's team to make sure he's receiving all donated amounts", he adds.

It was unclear what law enforcement agents were seeking.

On Thursday, police opened an investigation of the couple and searched their home.

"If they flee, they're taking the money with them", Jacqueline Promislo, another of Bobbitt's attorneys, told the Inquirer. The couple have denied that they used any more of the money for anything else for themselves.

Victims are more likely to get compensated if criminal charges are filed, said Stephen Stigall, a partner at the Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr law firm. The Superior Court Judge in New Jersey, Paula, T. Dow, said she's no longer comfortable hearing only from the couple's attorney and wants them to answer questions in person. Bobbitt used $20 he had collected from panhandling that day to buy her gas.

GoFundMe has promised that homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt will receive the remainder of the donations owed to him.

For the time being, the money will be transferred to an account controlled by Bobbitt's lawyers, but it can not be used until the judge determines who will manage it. A judge gave McClure and D'Amico until September 3 to hand over the remaining funds, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A screenshot of the texts was first posted on Reddit and verified by Bobbitt's attorney on Friday.

The campaign benefiting Bobbitt - which raised more than $400,000 from roughly 14,000 people - began accepting donations almost 10 months ago. McClure later drove away without responding to requests for comment from reporters massed at the end of the driveway. With the help of pro-bono lawyers, he took his case to court and claimed he'd received about $US75,000 that he spent on a camper, an SUV, and gifts to friends and family.

The couple reportedly gave the man $75,000 and promised to buy him a home, but the relationship deteriorated and he ended up with a camper on a piece of property owned by the couple.

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