Police Launch Criminal Investigation of Couple Who Raised $400,000 for Homeless Man

Marsha Scott
September 10, 2018

U.S. law enforcement officials converged Thursday on the New Jersey home of the couple accused of stealing money from a GoFundMe campaign set up to help Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless man whose kindness to a stranger touched hearts across the nation and beyond.

It was the latest twist in at onetime feel-good story about Johnny Bobbitt, who spent his last $20 to buy gas for McClure when she became stranded on a highway in Philadelphia past year, and the couple who found 14,000 people online who were so touched by his kindness that they donated to a fund to help him start a new life. Authorities were reportedly seen removing bags of items from the residence.

Police armed with a search warrant left the couple's home in Florence, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Philadelphia, with bags and boxes of material and the BMW. Yet, according to Bobbitt, the couple kept the majority of donations to themselves.

The couple has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but the deadline has passed after a court ordered for them to hand over the cash.

The allegations were used as a basis for obtaining the search warrant, which generally requires a lesser standard of proof than an arrest warrant.

The case involving a New Jersey couple who stand accused of mismanaging funds that were raised for a homeless Marine Corps veteran has taken a possible criminal turn.

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The couple are being sued by Johnny Bobbitt, who got McClure gas late one night when she was stranded in Philadelphia. Share this article with your family and friends to tell them the good news! An attorney representing McClure and D'Amico indicated that the couple planned to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, the reports say.

Officials were at the couple's home in Bordentown early on September 6, a day after a judge ordered them to appear in court, Fox29 reported. While the couple initially claimed through their lawyer that there was still plenty of money left, their counsel told a judge on Tuesday that all of the funds are gone. While all the money apparently didn't go to Bobbitt, GoFundMe wants to make sure he comes away on top. The court had ordered them to account for what they spent and put the rest in a trust for the homeless veteran.

"This is an extremely rare situation and we are working with law enforcement officials to get Johnny the money raised on his behalf", said Bobby Whithorne, director of North America Communications for GoFundMe. He believed the couple used the remaining money on lavish vacations, a new BMW, and gambling, among other things. Earlier this week, the organization gave Bobbitt $20,000 to assist him while his lawyers investigate the case.

I was thinking about this story yesterday while taking care of some chores around the house and it struck me that the tale of Johnny Bobbitt and Katie McClure is becoming more and more like The Truman Show. Bobbitt claimed McClure and D'Amico had spent the GoFundMe money on travel, gambling and a luxury auto.

In court Wednesday, Badway said Bobbitt has gotten $200,000, but Bobbitt's lawyer said he had received about $75,000, including the camper as well as a 1999 Ford Ranger.

The company said it also gave $20,000 to an account set up by his attorney to help him during the investigation.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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