A homeless ex-Marine who alleged that he had been defrauded out of $400,000 of funds raised to help him get back on his feet will receive the money from crowd-fundraising platform “GoFundMe,” according to his lawyers.
It all started when vet Johnny Bobbitt Jr. helped out stranded motorist Kate McClure last October, gifting her his last $20. In order to repay his stunning act of generosity, McClure and her partner Mark D’Amico set up a GoFundMe page, which subsequently went viral, generating over $400,000 – some 14,347 people donated over a period of 10 months. But then, the couple changed their mind, and decided to keep most of the money for themselves, spending it on lavish items and vacations.
Previously, Bobbitt’s attorney said that his client has received just $75,000. The attorney estimates that the couple has pocketed around $300,000 after GoFundMe fees. However, lawyer Chris Fallon today told CNN that the full amount due to Bobbitt was to be recovered by GoFundMe and paid to his client. “We reached an agreement today with GoFundMe and they have agreed to make sure he will be made whole,” Fallon stated.
“…Our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors and beneficiaries are protected,” the popular fundraising company said in a statement on the controversial case.
“GoFundMe’s goal has always been to ensure Johnny gets support he deserves,” the company added, as reported by NBC News. “Johnny will be made whole and we’re committing that he’ll receive the balance of the unspent funds raised on his behalf.”
Fallon noted that his client had now received a further $20,000 as part of the guarantee, which he said will be used to get him an apartment and food. GoFundMe will now conduct a thorough investigation into the fundraiser, using evidence provided to them by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the various attorneys involved in the bizarre case.
The couple have noted their concern that Bobbitt will use the funds to fuel his drug habit, and want to see evidence that he is clean before they hand over such a large sum of money.
Prior to a court order being issued to the couple for the recovery of funds, D’Amico was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer saying that he’d rather burn the money in front of Bobbitt than deposit it in his bank account. D’Amico asserted that transferring such a large quantity of cash to Bobbitt in his current state would be equivalent to “giving him a loaded gun.”