Homeless Man Will Get His Full $400,000 Says GoFundMe

Simon Veazey

Johnny Bobbitt Jr., the homeless man whose crowd-funded $400,000 allegedly disappeared, will get his money.

Online fund-raising site GoFundMe announced on Sept 6. that the homeless veteran will get all the money from the online campaign, which was sparked by his assisting a stranded motorist.

The announcement follows a police raid of the home of the couple who set up the fundraising campaign after he sued them over missing funds.

Kate McClure ran out of gas on the I-95 highway in Philadelphia late at night last fall. Bobbitt, who was living under a highway ramp, came to the rescue, spending his last $20 on gas for her.

Following the act of kindness, together with her partner, McClure set up a fund-raising page for him that garnered huge public interest.

However, McClure and her partner are now the subjects of a criminal investigation after Bobbitt claimed that he only received $75,000 of the $400,000 raised.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Bobby Whithorne, director of North America communications for GoFundMe, said in a statement: “Johnny will be made whole, and we’re committing that he'll get the balance of the funds that he has not yet received or benefited from. GoFundMe’s goal has always been to ensure Johnny gets [the] support he deserves,”

Money is Gone

The prosecutor’s office on Sept 6. confirmed that a criminal investigation had been launched into missing funds.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina said in a statement, "Due to the enormous public interest in this matter, I am confirming that a search warrant was executed early this morning by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Florence Township Police Department at the residence of Mark D'Amico and Katelyn McClure in connection with a criminal investigation into the Johnny Bobbitt matter." 

Earlier this week, lawyers for D'Amico and McClure disclosed that none of the $400,000 remains.

However, lawyers from the two sides disagree on how much of the $400,000 has already been spent on Bobbitt’s behalf, according to the Inquirer.

Bobbitt’s lawyers say he was given a total of about $75,000. But the couple’s lawyer, Ernest E. Badway, claims he has received $200,000 so far.

But GoFundMe isn’t ready to just foot the bill for Bobbitt—the company will refund donors too, waiving a 30-day restriction that would have applied to the 10-month-old campaign.

GoFundMe’s policy states that they will refund individual contributions up to $1,000 if those donations were misused.

“This is an extremely rare situation, and we are working with law enforcement officials to get Johnny the money raised on his behalf, which means the 30-day policy does not apply in this case,” Whithorne said in a statement issued on Sept. 6, reported the Inquirer.

Bobbitt, a former Marine, had worked as a paramedic and firefighter, but had fallen afoul of drugs and the law and was scraping by panhandling.

McClure decided to set up a GoFundMe page in his name, hoping to raise $10,000, to help him back on his feet.

More than 14,000 people responded. As the donation total swelled, McClure and her boyfriend began promising on the page to use the cash to buy Bobbitt his own home and set up two trusts.

According to Bobbitt, that never happened, and reluctantly, he sought legal help.

“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,” he told ABC. “I wish it didn’t come to this—I hate that it came to this.”
Chris Jasurek contributed to this article
Simon Veazey is a UK-based journalist who has reported for The Epoch Times since 2006 on various beats, from in-depth coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing on breaking news.
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