A homeless veteran who helped a stranded motorist last November has filed a lawsuit against the woman and her boyfriend who raised more than $400,000 on a GoFundMe page to help him, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The lawsuit alleges that Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico have mismanaged the funds raised to help former U.S. Marine Johnny Bobbitt after his act of kindness toward McClure. Bobbitt’s attorneys filed the documents Tuesday in Superior Court in Mount Holly, New Jersey.
Bobbitt, 35, walked to a gas station where he spent his last $20 to buy gas to put in McClure’s car after she ran out of gas in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood on Thanksgiving. She didn’t have any cash on her at the time but later repaid him.
The relationship between the couple and Bobbit has since soured.
What’s the backstory?
McClure created a GoFundMe campaign after her social media post about Bobbitt’s actions went viral. The campaign’s initial goal was to raise $10,000 to help Bobbitt get back on his feet.
But the account skyrocketed to $200,000 within a week and eventually raised $402,706.
McClure, 28, and D’Amico, 39, purchased Bobbitt a car, laptop, TV, and an RV that he lived in on their property. Bobbitt didn’t want to buy a permanent home.
Now, Bobbitt is back on the streets and at least half of the money has allegedly been spent.
What does the lawsuit claim?
One of Bobbitt’s pro bono attorneys Christopher C. Fallon told the Inquirer that the lawsuit was filed after D’Amico ignored several requests to provide a full accounting of the money raised for his client.
“He’s really left us with no choice but to go forward,” Fallon said.
The lawsuit has alleged that the couple deposited the funds in personal accounts and used “substantial portions of the money raised” for themselves.
According to Bobbitt, the couple has taken several vacations and purchased a new BMW for McClure to drive.
The lawsuit is also seeking an undisclosed amount in damages, interest, and counsel fees, and for a “guardian ad litem” to be appointed for Bobbitt.
His lawyers have claimed he’s been denied access to the money.
What does the couple say?
McClure and D’Amico told NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” show on Monday that Bobbitt is back on drugs and that he ran through $25,000 in less than two weeks in December.
They told Kelly that there’s more than $150,000 left. The week before, D’Amico told the Inquirer and the New York Daily News that they still had about $200,000 from the campaign.
“It’s so hard to deal with when we know we did a good thing,” McClure told Kelly. “I would do it all over again. I would do it all over again for him.”
The couple has denied any misuse of the funds.
“Giving him all that money, it’s never going to happen. I’ll burn it in front of him,” D’Amico told the Inquirer.
D’Amico said Bobbitt is addicted to opioids and giving him a large amount of cash would be like “giving him a loaded gun.”
The couple has claimed they would give him access to the money after he gets off the drugs.
McClure and D’Amico did not respond to the Inquirer’s requests for comment. McClure is a receptionist for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and D’Amico is a carpenter.
What does GoFund Me say?
GoFundMe told the New York Post that it is investigating the account and allegations from both sides.