Homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt, 35, is suing a couple to organize a $ 400,000 fundraising campaign on their behalf, claiming they stole some of the donated money.
A homeless veteran is suing a couple who raised $ 400,000 for him through a fundraising campaign, claiming they stole some of the donated money.
What began as a pair of disinterested actions has now led to a legal battle between Johnny Bobbitt, 35, and New Jersey pair Kate DeClure and Mark D & # 39; Amico.
Last November, the good homeless Samaritan she used her last $ 20 to help McClure when she ran out of gas and was stranded on a Philadelphia road.
To thank Bobbitt, the couple from New Jersey created a GoFundMe account, which raised almost half a million dollars.
However, the poignant story became unpleasant when Bobbitt accused McClure and D'Amico of immersing themselves in the stash of donated money to buy things for them.
Earlier this week, the couple said they had not turned over the funds because they were worried he would spend everything on drugs.
Bobbitt, who returns to live under a bridge in Philadelphia, now takes the couple to court for committing fraud.
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Bobbitt, left, hit the headlines last November after she used her last $ 20 to buy gas for stranded motorist Kate McClure, right, in Philadelphia. McClure and his partner Mark D & # 39; Amico set up a GoFundMe page to thank him, but the relationship has gone sour
Two pro-bono attorneys held by Bobbitt last week filed a lawsuit accusing McClure and D & # 39; Amico of committing fraud through the use of donations intended for 35-year-olds.
Bobbitt retained two pro-bono attorneys in Philadelphia last week, who filed the lawsuit seeking undisclosed damages and asking a judge to appoint someone to oversee the account. A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Thursday.
One of the two pro bono lawyers that Bobbitt retained last week, Christopher C Fallon, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the legal action was taken after D & # 39; Amico ignored several requests for a complete accounting of the money raised by the GoFundMe campaign.
"He really has not left us with any other option than to go ahead," Fallon said of the lawsuit, which seeks undisclosed damages and asks a judge to appoint someone to oversee the account.
McClure and D & # 39; Amico have repeatedly denied any misuse or misuse of some of the money.
McClure and D'Amico showed up at Megyn Kelly Today on Monday, after Bobbitt's first robbery allegations, and insisted they were just trying to keep him from wasting money.
During a presentation at the Megyn Kelly Today show on Monday, the couple admitted that just over $ 150,000 is left over from the $ 400,000 raised in the last nine months.
They explained that they had initially put the money in their own bank account temporarily because Bobbitt did not have their own bank account, and they did not have identification or documentation to obtain one.
"We work to get all of those things in. That takes a long time," McClure said.
Meanwhile, the couple used the funds to buy a Bobbitt trailer, which he chose, after he told them he did not want a house.
"His dream: one of the first conversations I had with him was what he wanted," said D & # 39; Amico.
& # 39; You can do whatever you want in the world. You won the lottery, basically. I asked him what his dream was, he said he would end up in Alaska in a travel trailer and living off the land and fishing. I said, let's do it.
They even allowed him to store the trailer on McClure's property while they solved his paperwork, and he had used his house to shower, and he always came in whenever he wanted.
Eventually, the documents arrived and they created a bank account for Bobbitt, but right now, D & # 39; Amico said they had started noticing some 'red flags'.
Bobbitt has returned to live on the street nine months after the couple raised $ 400,000 for him because they have spent half the money, apparently under his care, and are holding the rest
The biggest warning sign came after Christmas, when the couple says they deposited $ 25,000 in the Bobbitt account.
The money disappeared in 13 days, and was spent almost exclusively on drugs, D & # 39; Amico told Kelly.
"We saw the development of the boss, every dollar he touched was used to buy drugs," said Dico.
McClure said they tried to get Bobbitt into a rehabilitation program, but when he refused, he worried about handing over the rest of the money because they feared he "was going to do something silly and end up where he was again."
"I wanted to make sure that at the end of the day, when I was ready, I would have something left," he said.
D & # 39; Amico said that the reason why there are only $ 150,000 left from donations is that & # 39;[Bobbitt] spend a lot of money ".
D & # 39; Amico explained that after GoFundMe suffered its reduction, they were left with around $ 350,000 and that the $ 200,000 had been spent on their trailer, legal fees and court costs, the hotel Bobbitt stayed before, an SUV, TV, laptop, two cell phones, and sending money to their parents.
"His brother also came on the scene and lived opposing our property, which is also an addict," said Dicora, adding that the rest, including the $ 25,000 spent in 13 days, went to drugs.
McClure and D & # 39; Amico went to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, where they enjoyed a helicopter tour of $ 500 per person in the Grand Canyon. McClure said it was a gift from D & # 39; Amico
The couple says they paid for their trips, their new BMW and their casino trips with their salaries. He is a carpenter and she is a receptionist in the state's transportation department.
However, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that since then the couple has sold the caravan for only $ 10,000, as well as the SUV, because Bobbitt wanted to use the money from the sale to move out of New Jersey. He states that he has not received money from the sale.
Meanwhile, Bobbitt has accused the couple of embezzling their money on their own, and splashing the cash on vacation and a new car, something they categorically deny.
Although D & # 39; Amico admits that he used $ 500 of the donations to gamble in a casino, he insists that Bobbitt was with him and went with his full permission.
WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?
McClure and D & # 39; Amico say they spent $ 200,000 on Bobbitt's "care", which included:
A stay at a hotel
A caravan that has now been sold
An SUV that was not the one he wanted
Two cell phones
$ 30,000 for the GoFundMe rate
$ 25,000 in cash you spent on medications
Money that he sent to his parents and gave his brother
$ 150,000 withheld
D & # 39; Amico and McClure say they are in the process of establishing an independent trust for the remaining funds for Bobbitt and say they are happy that a forensic account reviews their expenses to show that they have not spent any of the funds themselves.
& # 39; That's what we're doing & # 39;
But it has been difficult for the couple who says that they only wanted to do something good for the homeless man who touched them with their kindness.
McClure broke down in tears when he described receiving death threats from people who assumed they had stolen Bobbitt's money.
"It's very difficult to deal with that, because people are getting a side of the story, and receiving death threats and threats to burn my house and threats against my family and all that is so difficult to handle when we know we did something good ", He said.
"I still think we did something good, and I would do it again, I would do it for him again."
Meanwhile, Bobbitts returned to the streets after the couple sold their trailer and asked him to leave McClure's property, claiming he had stolen them.
They also sold the SUV, but Bobbitt did not receive a cent of the sales.
In April, McClure and D & # 39; Amico took Bobbitt to New York City for the first time (top)
GoFundMe is now working with a team of attorneys who have agreed to work for free so Bobbitt can determine if the money has been mismanaged.
& # 39; Giving you all that money, it will never happen. I'll burn it in front of him, "D & # 39; Amico bluntly said in a recent interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Meanwhile, the couple has enjoyed trips to Las Vegas and Los Angeles and McClure has bought a new BMW. They insist that they used their salaries.
He is a carpenter and she works as a receptionist for the state transportation department. Both say they took a "significant" time. of work to help Bobbitt and have not explained how they financed their lives during that hiatus.
In April, Bobbitt was taken to New York from New Jersey. They were photographed there smiling happily together for the photographs.
Bobbitt is shown (left) before becoming homeless and (to the right) after being news for helping McClure. He said he believes the couple began to want to help him, but that they let themselves be carried away by the amount of money raised
Bobbitt says he feels betrayed by the couple and thinks that their greed seized them once the money started to arrive.
"I think at first they could have been good intentions, but with that amount of money, I think it became greed," he said.
Defenders of the homeless have enrolled him in two rehabilitation programs to try to rid him of his addiction to opiates. Spend $ 15 per day on drugs and live under a bridge.
When he contacted DailyMail.com on Friday morning, McClure did not respond immediately.
She told The Philly Inquirer that she did not want to lose her job because of the dispute.
GoFundMe spokesman Bartlett Jackson said the company was investigating the disagreement.
"When there is a dispute, we work with all the parties involved to ensure that the funds get to the right place, we will work to make sure that Johnny gets the help he deserves and that the intentions of the donors are honored," he said.
About 15,000 people donated to the page. He no longer accepts donations.
Nearly 15,000 people donated $ 402,000 to get Bobbitt out of the street after helping McClure. Now, GoFundMe is investigating if the money has been mismanaged
In his latest update, McClure wrote: & # 39; Now let's do some business. We have received many comments and questions about what Johnny's plans are for this money and how it will be used.
"I hope this answers you while maintaining your privacy and the privacy of the people you also help.
"The first thing on the list is a NEW home that Johnny will own! Never again will he have to worry about a roof over his head! The second one will be the dream truck he has always wanted … a 1999 Ford Ranger (yes , I'm serious).
There will also be 2 trusts established in your name, one that will give you the ability to charge a small & # 39; salary each year and another retirement trust that will be wisely invested by a financial planner you will have access to at a time that you are comfortable with, when the time comes you can live out your retirement dream of owning a piece of land and a cabin in the countryside.
& # 39; You will be assigned a bank account with funds to cover the daily needs that will help you until you find a job. And, finally, he will donate to some organizations and people who in recent years have helped him overcome this difficult moment in his life.
"This is a well-thought-out plan that Johnny, his lawyer and financial advisor, proposed to give Johnny the means to acclimatize to a" normal "life and also to protect him and ensure he has a bright future."
Bobbitt said he was never given a lawyer and met once with a financial advisor.
In the photo you can see the original request of the couple of donations on the GoFundMe website