The couple who set up a GoFundMe campaign for a homeless military veteran before pocketing the funds for themselves will likely face prosecution, according to the pair’s lawyer.
Mark D’Amico, 39, and Katelyn McClure, 28 are accused of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars which had been raised for homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt.
Last November, Bobbitt gifted his last $20 to McClure after her car ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. McClure subsequently posted about Bobbitt’s wonderful act of kindness, setting up a charity fundraiser in his name. The homeless veteran’s story went viral.
Then, last week, just as police were on the verge of conducting a search of the couple’s home, Bobbitt’s lawyer told the press that all his client’s money had been spent.
“There is no money left,” Bobbitt’s attorney, Christopher C. Fallon Jr., told NJ.com, noting that his client was “completely devastated” by the whole thing. Bobbitt reportedly received around $75,000, but is still owed approximately $300,000.
Now, the attorney representing D’Amico and McClure has told a Burlington County Judge that his firm may well step down from representing the couple, due to the fact they are likely to be indicted in the case.
“Since it is expected that one or both of the Defendants will likely be indicted, my firm and I will no longer be able to continue our representation of them in this matter,” the couple’s attorney, Ernest Badway, submitted in a motion filed Friday in Burlington County Superior Court, according to PEOPLE. “(However, we are not seeking that relief at this time, we merely wanted to make the Court aware of the potential future development.)”
Badway also noted that the couple was “unable to defend themselves or respond in any meaningful way” as to the whereabouts of the funds because their financial and business records have been seized by prosecutors.
Jacqueline Promislo, another member of Bobbitt’s legal team, told the New York Post that the couple started spending the cash as soon as it hit their account.
“They went on shopping sprees,” she explained. “[Bobbitt] tells me they had a Louis Vuitton bag and Chanel sunglasses, a new iPhone 10.”
Promislo admitted that until the lawyers have a forensic accountant to go through the accounts, she can’t, without any doubt, assert that the couple spent all of Bobbitt’s money.
“But now that they say there is no money, where did it go?” the attorney asked.
According to Fox News, the couple used some of the cash to purchased a camper for Bobbitt, parking it on land owned by McClure’s family. However, Bobbitt became homeless again after D’Amico allegedly ordered him to leave back in June. Then, according to Bobbitt, the couple went on a mega spending spree, splurging on expensive shoe collections and booking plush vacations.
GoFundMe, however, has vowed to return every penny to Bobbitt.
“…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 at the end of last week.
“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.”
The couple have noted their concern that Bobbitt would 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.”