The couple that made national news for starting a GoFundMe campaign for a homeless veteran that raised $400,000 is now accused of stealing and spending most of that money. The couple plans to “plead the Fifth,” their lawyer says.
When Katie McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, first met homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt, they volunteered to start a GoFundMe campaign to benefit the man, NBC reported.
But the veteran soon accused the couple of withholding some of the more than $400,000 the campaign raised. In the ruling, a judge in New Jersey also ordered the couple to provide an accounting of all the money earned through the Internet fundraising campaign.
The couple became invested in helping the veteran when he gave them his last $20 when he saw McClure on the side of a Philadelphia highway after her car ran out of gas.
But the relationship between the couple and the veteran soured when the veteran began suspecting that the couple was spending the GoFundMe money on themselves.
For instance, Katie McClure raised eyebrows when she suddenly went on an expensive California vacation and then bought a brand new BMW car.
At one point, the couple did give the veteran about $25,000, but then they claimed they were holding back more because he has a dug problem and he is just wasting the cash.
By the end of August a judge had ordered the couple to hand over the rest of the GoFundMe cash and provide a detailed accounting of where it all went.
But now news has leaked that all the money is spent and the veteran got little of it. According to the vet’s lawyers, he only ever saw about $75,000 of the $400,000 donated to him.
A judge is ordering the couple to account for it all. According to MSN:
A judge on Wednesday ordered a Burlington County, N.J., couple to testify under oath next week about what happened to the $400,000 they raised in a GoFundMe campaign to help a homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr. — money their lawyer says is gone and that Mr. Bobbitt says they squandered.
Superior Court Judge Paula T. Dow directed Mr. Bobbitt’s team of pro bono lawyers to request financial statements from the pair before the court closed on Wednesday.
At the hearing, the couple’s lawyer told the judge they wanted to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
This is a major mess, for sure.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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