- A couple that raised more than $400,000 for a homeless veteran after he helped them pay for gas kept the money from him for months.
- A judge ordered them to hand over the remaining money by Friday afternoon.
- The man, Johnny Bobbitt, had accused the couple of using the funds as their “personal piggy bank” for vacations, gambling, and a new car.
- Bobbitt is still homeless.
A judge ordered a couple to hand over what remains of the $400,000 they raised for a homeless veteran by Friday afternoon, after they withheld the money from him for months.
In the fall of 2017, Johnny Bobbitt went viral after Kate McClure started a GoFundMe campaign for him. McClure’s car had broken down on a highway outside Philadelphia near the overpass where Bobbitt — a homeless Marine veteran — lived at the time.
Bobbitt gave his last $20 to McClure for gas money, helping her get home. Over the next few weeks, McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, visited him to give him gift cards, cash, and toiletries. Their effort to help him get on his feet culminated with the GoFundMe campaign, which raised $402,706 for Bobbitt.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Bobbitt told ABC’s “Good Morning America” at the time. “[I was] just helping someone out … I was glad to offer the help when somebody needed it.”
But even though nearly a year has passed, Bobbitt says he’s received only $75,000. He sued McClure and D’Amico on Tuesday for the rest of the money and accused them of using the funds “as their personal piggy bank” for “vacations to California, a new BMW, and gambling,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
His attorneys also said that part of the $75,000 was used on a camper and a used car for Bobbitt in McClure’s name — which she later sold.
The couple, though, said they doled out the money to Bobbitt in small amounts, claiming they were worried he would use it for drugs.
“Every dollar [Bobbitt] ever touched was used for drugs,” McClure said on NBC’s “The Today Show.”
Ernest E. Badway, an attorney who represents McClure and D’Amico, said in court that the couple only wants to help Bobbitt.
“They took time out of their own schedules, their own jobs, brought him to rehab centers … gave him cash on a daily basis,” he said.
But the judge ruled Thursday that the money should be put into a frozen trust controlled by Bobbitt as forensic accountants analyze financial records over the next 10 days.
It’s unclear how much money remains from the original $402,706 raised. D’Amico told different reporters different sums, ranging from $150,000 to $200,000, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Including the $75,000 already given to Bobbitt, that still leaves vast sums of money unaccounted for.
“We need to make sure the money is safe while a full accounting is done,” Jacqueline Promislo, one of Bobbitt’s attorneys, said in court. “More than 14,000 people donated to help Johnny buy a house, but he doesn’t have access to the money.”
from Business Insider https://ift.tt/2wx6AFl