Judge rules couple must give homeless man funds raised in GoFundMe
MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (WTXF) - A couple who raised more than $400,000 for a homeless man after he used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of a stranded motorist in Philadelphia must now turn over what's left of the cash.
The judge in the case put a temporary restraining order in place barring the couple from spending any of the remaining funds, and ordered the couple to hand over what’s left to the homeless man’s attorneys for safekeeping within 24 hours.
It all started after a homeless man used his last $20 to help a woman stranded on the side of the road. She set up a GoFundMe page for the man, named Johnny.
But, now Johnny is suing the woman and her boyfriend, saying he hasn’t seen that money.
Lawyers for homeless Johnny Bobbitt and the couple seen as his one-time saviors battled it out in a New Jersey court.
“The irreparable harm will be if they spend any more of Mr. Bobbitt’s money or, as Mr. D’Amico claimed, he’ll burn the money before giving it to Mr. Bobbitt,” said attorney for Johnny Bobbitt, Christopher Fallon.
It was late fall of 2017 when Bobbitt – homeless and struggling with addiction in Philadelphia – gave his last $20.00 to help Kate McClure, whose car had broken down.
$400,000 was raised through GoFundMe, set up by McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico of New Jersey.
In court, lawyers argued about how much is left and where the money is now.
“Mr. Bobbitt received in cash as well as goods and services that were paid for out of this money of over $200,000,” explained Ernest Madway, attorney for McClure and D’Amico.
The judge put a temporary restraining order in place barring the couple from spending any of the remaining funds, and ordered the couple to hand over what’s left to Bobbitt’s attorneys for safekeeping within 24 hours.
The couple’s attorney left the Mt. Holly, New Jersey court without comment, while lawyers for Johnny Bobbitt said their client, who has “fallen off the wagon with his addiction,” will soon get an accountant.
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.
“If they spent money on themselves and I say if they did, we want reimbursement of the money. Not just for Johnny, but for the 14,000 people who contributed,” Fallon said.