They Raised $400,000 For A Homeless Veteran. Did They Also Screw Him Out Of It?

Jared Keller Avatar

It sounds like the ultimate moment of compassion: After homeless Marine veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr., spent his last $20 fetching gas for a stranded young woman after her car stalled in Philadelphia, she repaid his trust and kindness with a GoFundMe campaign that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help him on his way.

That moment didn’t last. Now, Bobbitt claims the $400,000 raised from nearly 14,000 donors to help him climb out from the depths of homelessness and drug addiction ended up funding Kate McClure and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico’s lifestyle, according to an extensive report from the Washington Post published on Saturday.

  • “There are accusations of mismanagement and outright theft of the money raised on Bobbitt’s behalf,” the Washington Post reports, adding that Bobbitt suspects the money raised on GoFundMe “had been squandered on vacations, a luxury car and more than one addiction.”
  • Bobbitt’s lawyer told a local CBS News affiliate that McClure and D’Amico only gave Bobbitt around $75,000 of the money raised, allegedly pocketing around $300,000.
  • That money came with strings attached: the couple “bought Bobbitt a camper — they originally promised him a house — and parked it in their driveway in New Jersey, where Bobbitt lived until June,” Bobbitt attorney Jacqueline Promislo told CBS News
  • “This was not his choice and he didn’t have any say in the matter … Johnny would have preferred to go back to North Carolina,” Promislo told CBS News, adding that Bobbitt “had no access to money or food” while living in the camper and that Bobbitt “didn’t have any ability to take care of himself there.”
  • And the other addiction that Bobbitt mentioned? According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bobbitt claims McClure and D’Amico used the GoFundMe money for a new BMW and traveled on vacations to places like the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, the latter of which allegedly became a money-suck for D’Amico’s gambling.
  • D’Amico said he “spent $500 of the GoFundMe money to gamble because he did not have his SugarHouse Casino card one night, but he said he quickly repaid it with his winnings,” per the Inquirer.
  • In response to questions regarding the GoFundMe, McClure and D’Amico claimed they “took significant time off from work to help Bobbitt, and they tried having him manage his own money, only to watch him quickly spend thousands,” as the Inquirer reported, adding that Bobbitt “acknowledged that they once gave him $25,000, which he said he spent by sending money to relatives and sharing with friends.”
  • “[Bobbitt] also spent some of it on drugs,” the Inquirer reported. “Typically, Bobbitt said, he uses $15 a day to buy opiates or Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat addiction.”
  • D’Amico argued that freely shelling out cash to an opioid addict “like me handing him a loaded gun. He has to do what he has to do to get his life together.”

Robert Frost was right: Nothing gold can stay.