Couple Who Raised $400,000 for Homeless Veteran Have Reportedly Depleted the Entire Fund
Johnny Bobbitt was a homeless military veteran living on the streets of Philadelphia without anything to his name. One night, then stranger Kate McClure was stranded on her way home, and Bobbit gave her his last $20 to help her buy gas. Moved by his touching gesture, McClure decided to start a GoFundMe and gained national coverage, raising nearly $400,000 for Bobbitt.
McClure’s pitch to the public was extremely structured, laying out the plan to have two trusts set up in Bobbitt’s name. One would provide him with a small salary each year, while the other would be invested by a financial planner which he would have access to “so when the time comes he can live his retirement dream of owning a piece of land and a cabin in the country,” according to what McClure wrote. They also promised to purchase him a home and his dream car, a 1999 Ford Ranger.
Update: A lawyer for Johnny Bobbitt Jr. said Saturday the Burlington County couple still had not complied with a court order to hand over what was left of the $400,000 they raised for Bobbitt. @AvalonZoppo reports: https://t.co/11wIew35tL pic.twitter.com/RPD6eWygpE
— Philly.com (@phillydotcom) September 1, 2018
However, less than a year later, the feeling of generosity has turned to complete devastation for Bobbitt. Nearly a year after the outpouring of generosity from the success of the GoFundMe page, Bobbitt has yet to see any of the money originally raised for him. His attorney, Chris Fallon, claims that McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico have vanished without ever reaching out to Bobbitt with the money.
The couple never followed through on any of their promises of buying him a house, car or setting up any trusts in his name with the donated funds. Fallon said he learned of the depleted account during a call with the couple’s lawyer on Tuesday. He told the Philadelphia Enquirer, “It completely shocked me when I heard.” He continued, “It came as a complete surprise to me.” Bobbitt is “completely devastated” upon hearing this revelation, says Fallon.
Bobbitt has filed a lawsuit against McClure and D’Amico, accusing the couple of grossly mismanaging the money raised on his behalf. Last week, a judge ordered the couple to wire the remaining funds into an account for Bobbitt, but the Inquirer reported they missed the Friday deadline.
McClure and D’Amico have vehemently denied these allegations, telling the Inquirer, “I don’t want him to do anything stupid.” D’Amico continued, “He’s a drug addict. That’s like me handing him a loaded gun. He has to do what he has to do to get his life together.” In an interview with Megyn Kelly Today, the couple claims to have given Bobbitt nearly $350,000 of the money raised for him, with much of it going towards buying him a car, paying off outstanding legal fees, and depositing $25,000 into his account, which they claim he spent on drugs over the span of 13 days.
Bobbitt has told ABC 6 that he is back on the streets without a home. The battle, however, is not over, with the network reporting that GoFundMe released a statement saying that “any money that was misspent will be guaranteed by the company.”