Homeless veteran John Bobbitt came to Katie McClure’s rescue in 2017 when her car ran out of gas on the I-95 in Philadelphia one night. Despite having only $20 to his name, Bobbitt decided to give McClure the money to help her get home.
McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, were so touched by this incredible gesture of selflessness that they decided to set up a GoFundMe page for Bobbitt in order to help get him off the streets.
But while at first it seemed like a wonderful, budding friendship, their relationship quickly soured when the couple refused to give Bobbitt the over $400,000 raised in the campaign, citing their concern that he would spend the money on drugs, according to NBC News. Instead, it appears as though the couple may have spent much of that money on themselves.
A year after the campaign, the situation has escalated into a court case, with a judge ordering the couple to turn over the remainder of the money to Bobbitt, reported ABC News.
The couple had initially bought Bobbitt a camper to live in and told him he could keep it on the grounds of property owned by a family member. But in June this year, he was evicted from his home with nowhere to go.
Of the $360,000 given to the couple after GoFundMe’s fees were deducted, Bobbitt claims he has been given only about $75,000 in goods and services.
The couple has claimed they have not done anything wrong with the money, and that they only kept it to prevent Bobbitt, who has a known drug addiction, from wasting it on drugs. But in the last year, the couple suddenly started going on expensive outings, including helicopter rides, front row tickets to Broadway shows, shopping sprees, and spending New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.
The couple’s attorney insists that the goods and services provided to Bobbitt amount to over $200,000, but even so, there is a large chunk currently unaccounted for.
A judge has ordered the couple to pay whatever is remaining to Bobbitt’s attorneys, who will ensure the veteran finally gets what he was promised.
For his part, Bobbitt was extremely unhappy that the situation escalated to the degree that it has.
“I wish it didn’t come to this. I hate that it came to this. I always felt like I was in a weird situation. I didn’t want to be pressuring to get a lawyer or do anything because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. I had to ask them for everything in the beginning. It was like a joke, they were like my parents, but the joke starts not being funny.”
Ironically, D’Amico used a small amount of the money to fund his own gambling addiction but insists he paid back the $500 from his winnings.
Defense attorney Ernest Badway made a statement regarding his clients, stating they are prepared to be scrutinized to prove their innocence. “They have said they will have a forensic accounting, they’ve said they’re fine with a trustee, they’ve said they are they’ll open their books. What more can they do? I urge everybody to withhold judgement until that’s been made public.”