U.S. law enforcement officials converged Thursday on the New Jersey home of the couple accused of stealing money from a GoFundMe campaign set up to help Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless man whose kindness to a stranger touched hearts across the nation and beyond. He added that no charges were filed but "further updates will be provided as circumstances warrant". First, a New Jersey judge ruled that McClure and D'Amico needed to give Bobbitt all of the contributed funds. Neither they nor Bobbit was in court Wednesday.
"Every dollar he ever touched was used for drugs", D'Amico said in the interview.
Before the court order to hand over the money was issued, D'Amico is quoted by The Philadelphia Inquirer as saying he'd rather burn the money in front of Bobbitt rather than give it to him, because he said giving an addict that money would be like "giving him a loaded gun".
McClure and D'Amico started the crowdfunding campaign after Bobbitt came to McClure's rescue on the side of the road in October 2017.
McClure and D'Amico set an initial fundraising goal of $10,000, but ultimately the campaign raised more than $400,000 (about $360,000 of which should have gone to Bobbitt after GoFundMe's processing fees).
Initially, GoFundMe gave Bobbitt $20,000 so that he wasn't penniless while the details of the case were emerging. That didn't happen. Bobbitt initially claimed he only received about $75,000, much of which was earmarked for things like a auto and camper.
McClure and D'Amico could not be reached for comment Friday morning. The fundraiser ended up attracting around 14,000 people who donated $400,000, specifically to help the homeless veteran obtain a home, transportation, and a new start in life. Attorney Chris Fallon told The Associated Press that he learned the money was gone while speaking with the lawyer representing the couple.
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The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the Florence Township Police Department executed a search warrant on the Florence, N.J., home of Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico, hauling away boxes and bags of evidence as well as a new BMW, according to local media.
As the case drags on, GoFundMe is working with legal counsel and investigators to make sure Bobbitt gets what he's owed, Bobby Whithorne, a spokesman for the company said.
Mr Bobbitt, whose lawyer said he is entering a drug addiction program, will also be deposed. Bobbitt was living in the camper on land owned by the couple until they kicked him off the property in June, AP reports. D'Amico told the newspaper that he had indeed used $500 from the bank account to gamble on a night when he forgot his Sugarhouse Casino card but had "quickly repaid" the money with his winnings.
D'Amico has said Bobbitt spent $25,000 in less than two weeks previous year on drugs as well as paying for overdue legal bills and sending money to family.
Bobbitt walked a few blocks to buy McClure gas.
GoFundMe has deposited $20,000 into an escrow account for Bobbitt while the investigation into the possible misuse of funds continues, according to the Inquirer.