Judge Orders NJ Couple to Turn Over Rest of $400K for Homeless Man
A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered a Burlington County couple to turn over the remaining money from a $400,000 GoFundMe fundraiser to the lawyers of a homeless man who the money was intended to help.
Judge Paula Dow, a former state attorney general, also ordered a full accounting of how the money has been spent until now, the Burlington County Times reported.
Philly.com, which covered the court hearing in Mount Holly, said the judge may appoint a guardian at a later date to administer the funds.
Bobbitt's attorneys, working pro bono, filed a lawsuit against the couple on Wednesday, asking the courts to prevent the couple from spending any more of the money and accusing them of using it as their own personal funds.
The money was raised last year after Johnny Bobbitt Jr. used his last $20 to help a stranded stranger, Kate McClure, of Florence, get gas for her car.
McClure decided to pay Bobbitt back by setting up a GoFundMe. Thousands of donations came from around the country to help the homeless drug addict get back on his feet.
But a Philly.com report this month revealed that the McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, had been holding onto most of the money and that Bobbitt was back to living on the streets and doing drugs.
Bobbitt said he suspects the couple used the money to go on several trips across the country and for D'Amico to buy a car. The couple told Philly.com and "Megyn Kelly Today" on Monday that they used their own money for the trips and vehicle but they have not publicly released financial documents that could account for the money.
D'Amico admitted to using $500 of the money meant for Bobbitt to go gambling, but he told Megyn Kelly on NBC that he had permission and paid it back.
Images of the trips that the couple shared on social media have since been deleted or made private.
The stories that D'Amico and McClure have told the Townsquare News Network and other media since December have changed. The couple, for example, told reporters that some of the money was used to buy Bobbitt a house outside New Jersey and an SUV. But Bobbitt and the couple recently told Philly.com that they had purchased a used SUV and a camper for Bobbitt, who parked it on McClure's property. The camper and SUV have also since been sold.
The couple has said that they did not want to give control of so much money to an addict, who readily acknowledges to the media that he continues to feed his opioid addiction.
GoFundMe last week said it was investigating.
Bobbitt's attorney told the court that Bobbitt had received just $75,000, which he used to buy the camper and SUV that were put in McClure's name. The couple said on NBC that about $150,000 remains. They earlier told Philly.com that $200,000 remained.
A follow-up hearing is scheduled for Sept. 14.