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The New Jersey couple who started a GoFundMe campaign for a homeless veteran whose act of kindness went viral in November may have used donated money to take vacations and buy expensive items, the man’s lawyer told The New York Post.
“They went on shopping sprees,” Philadelphia lawyer Jacqueline Promislo, who is representing Johnny Bobbitt, told the Post. “(Bobbitt) tells me they had a Louis Vuitton bag and Chanel sunglasses, a new iPhone 10.”
Bobbitt, 35, a former Marine, gave Kate McClure his last $20 when she ran out of gas on I-95 in Philadelphia last year. After McClure posted Bobbitt’s generosity on Facebook, she and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico set up a GoFundMe page that raised $402,706 in donations from 14,347 people.
But all of the money did not get to Bobbitt, according to his lawyers, and last week a judge ruled the homeless man would be entitled to an amount equal to the balance of funds he did not receive, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“I know they spent a lot of money,’’ Promislo told the Post. “Until we have a forensic accountant go through it, I can’t say that they spent his money. But now that they say there is no money, where did it go?”
Promislo said McClure and D’Amico have been posting online photos of their vacations to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and California, the Post reported.
Promislo said her firm believes that McClure and D’Amico spent $68,000 on Bobbitt. After GoFundMe took its fee money, Promislo told the newspaper that “in my mind (there is) about $300,000 that was raised for Johnny that he doesn’t have — and that they now say they don’t have.”
McClure and D’Amico deny that they mismanaged the donations, and in the lawsuit brought against them claimed they were hesitant to give Bobbitt large amounts of money because they believed he would spend it on drugs, Fox News reported.
The couple’s lawyer did not return calls, the Post reported.
McClure and D’Amico did buy Bobbitt a trailer and a used truck, Promislo told the newspaper, But she said they never gave him the key to the truck, which eventually broke down. Without access to his cash, Bobbitt returned to the streets and was living under a bridge in Philadelphia, the Post reported.
On Friday, Bobbitt left the bridge underpass and enrolled in an in-patient rehab program, Promislo told the newspaper. She said that GoFundMe already put $20,000 in an escrow account for him.
GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne told Fox News that the company is working with law enforcement to ensure that Bobbitt gets all the money raised for him.