Couple Who Raised Money for Homeless Good Samaritan Must Turn Over Funds, Judge Orders

A couple who raised money for a homeless man, is now being sued by him, after he claims he has only received half the money.

(Published Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018)

What to Know

  • A NJ couple has been ordered to turn over all funds raised for a homeless man who helped one of them.

  • Johnny Bobbitt believes Mark D'Amico and Katie McClure have mismanaged a large part of the GoFundMe donations.

  • D'Amico and McClure have denied any wrong-doing.

A New Jersey couple must turn over the money they raised for a homeless Philadelphia man who had gained worldwide attention after he spent his last $20 to help a stranded motorist last fall.

A Burlington County judge ordered Thursday that Katie McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, had to turn over all remaining money they had raised through a GoFundMe campaign for Johnny Bobbitt, who had helped McClure after she had run out of gas on an Interstate 95 exit ramp.

The couple must give the money to their defense lawyer, who was directed to place the funds into an escrow account as the case continues. The judge also has ordered McClure and D'Amico to provide a full accounting of the money they raised.

It was the latest twist in a tale that had once captivated the nation as an example of paying kindness forward.

That November night, Bobbitt had walked a few blocks to buy McClure gas. She didn't have money to repay him at the time, but sought him out days later to give him the money, and visited him a few more times to bring food and water. They later appeared on shows like "Good Morning America" and were interviewed by the BBC.

McClure set up the online fundraising page as a way to give back to Bobbitt. It raised more than $400,000 in donations from more than 14,000 people.

But the relationship has since gone sour.

Bobbitt sued, claiming D'Amico and McClure had mismanaged a large part of the donations raised for him.

Bobbitt's lawsuit contends the couple committed fraud by taking money from the fundraising campaign for themselves. He's seeking undisclosed damages, and his lawyers want a judge to appoint someone to oversee the account.

Christopher C. Fallon, one of Bobbitt's lawyers, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the legal action was taken after D'Amico ignored multiple requests for a full accounting of the money raised by the GoFundMe campaign.

"He's really left us with no choice but to go forward," said Fallon.

McClure and D'Amico have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or misusing any of the money. D'Amico has said Bobbitt spent $25,000 in less than two weeks in December on drugs, in addition to paying overdue legal bills and sending money to his family.

The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the funds and parked it on land McClure's family owns in Florence. But Bobbitt became homeless again after D'Amico told him in June that he had to leave the property.

During an appearance Monday on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today" show, D'Amico told Kelly there was well over $150,000 left of the donations.