Police search home of couple accused of stealing money from homeless veteran
- Author: Rogelio Becker Sep 10, 2018,
Sep 10, 2018, 3:01
This week, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the Florence Township Police Department executed a search warrant on Mr D'Amico and Ms McClure's home as part of a criminal investigation into what happened to the initial donations, before GoFundMe confirmed they would ensure Mr Bobbitt received the entire $US400,000 he was owed.
Johnny Bobbitt Jr.'s lawyer, Chris Fallon, told CNN that GoFundMe has agreed to pay back the $400,000 raised by Kate McClure and her boyfriend Mark D'Amico for Bobbitt a year ago. Authorities were reportedly seen removing bags of items from the residence.
Police armed with a search warrant left the couple's home in Florence, New Jersey, about 30 miles (48 kilometres) northeast of Philadelphia, with bags and boxes of material and the BMW, according to news outlets at the scene when the raid occurred.
The couple, who set up a GoFundMe page for Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless good Samaritan, are accused in a lawsuit brought by Bobbitt of mismanaging donations. According to reports, the couple refused to allow Bobbitt full access to the funds for various reasons.
D'Amico has said Bobbitt spent $25,000 in less than two weeks past year on drugs as well as paying for overdue legal bills and sending money to family.
The allegations were used as a basis for obtaining the search warrant, which generally requires a lesser standard of proof than an arrest warrant.
No criminal charges are pending, and a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office didn't respond to a request for comment for this story. McClure had run out of petrol on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, and Bobbitt walked to a service station and spent $US20 of his own money to buy her petrol.
Can donors to Bobbitt's campaign get a refund?
D'Amico told the publicationthat while there's "well over" $150,000 left, he wouldn't give Bobbitt the rest of the money until he sobered up. Bobbitt's story quickly went viral and in just nine months the campaign had raised over $400,000. Other videos showed D'Amico hitting golf balls off the lawn around the home.
Superior Court Judge Paula Dow said Wednesday that Katie McClure and Mark D'Amico must appear Monday for a deposition in a suit filed by Johnny Bobbitt over the whereabouts of the cash raised through GoFundMe. McClure and D'Amico claim they gave him more than $200,000, but his attorney says he got about $75,000.
"GoFundMe's goal has always been to ensure [Bobbitt] gets support he deserves", he says, noting that this falls in line with an online guarantee "that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement, or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors and beneficiaries are protected". He told reporters that McClure, 28, and D'Amico, 39, had locked him out of his money and may have spent it on themselves. The trust would remain under the control of Bobbitt's lawyers but would not be used until the judge decides how it would be managed.
But this summer, Bobbitt, 35, was found back on drugs and living under a bridge in Philly.
"Down-and-out Marine veteran Johnny Bobbitt, Jr. was scraping the bottom of a bottle of barbecue sauce for sustenance at one point, said Philadelphia lawyer Jacqueline Promislo".
GoFundMe has given $20,000 to a bank account created by Bobbitt's legal team to provide assistance during the investigation.