Last year, it was reported that a stranded woman who needed help with her vehicle was given $20 by a homeless man, his last bit of money, and as a favor back to him she started a GoFundMe campaign for him that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, it almost reached half a million dollars.
Now, almost all of that money may be gone.
After nine months of fundraising, with the GoFundMe campaign rising to an enormous $402,702, a paradoxical and greedy battle has arisen from the thing that should be considered a blessing.
It all started last October, when Kate McClure ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. The homeless man who gave her his last 20$ to help, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., had his life light up with joy after Kate’s crowd-sourced funds campaign raised enough money to make him a very well off person: if it would only be given to him.
Money makes people do crazy things, and an excessive amount of money can send actually a lot of people into spiraling, destructive behaviors.
Then, Bobbitt’s lawyer came out to say that most of that money never reached the man.
Chris Fallon, Bobbitt’s lawyer said to CNN:
“From what I can see, the GoFundMe account raised $402,000 and GoFundMe charged a fee of approximately $30,000. Mark D’Amico and Kate McClure gave Johnny about $75,000. There should be close to another $300,000 available to Johnny.”
He and another attorney named Jacqueline Promislo sought out trying to retrieve the money, seeking to find a guardian to manage the money in order for the 14,000 people who donated to the massive campaign to know exactly where their money is going.
Bobbitt is concerned that Kate and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico recklessly spent they money they have been withholding from him. The couple claims that they have given the homeless man over half of the money they raised, and they are withholding another $200,000. However that must not be true, or there must be no evidence for it because it contradicts the lawyer’s claims.
It was reported a few weeks ago that Johnny is now back on the streets, addicted to drugs and homeless. Kate and Mark claim that the man recklessly spent $25,000 in less than two weeks.
At the same time, Johnny is asking how Kate, who works as a receptionist at the New Jersey Department of Transportation, paid for her expensive new BMW vehicle. She also took holidays in California, Las Vegas, and Florida.
To start off, the GoFundMe campaign stated: “The first thing on the list is a NEW Home which Johnny will own!!”
What actually happened? Bobbitt ended up living in a camper van on land strangely owned by Kate’s family, nearby the residence of the couple. He dreamed of having a pickup truck, but the SUV he was given broke down.
The couple claimed to have actually placed the vehicles in Mark’s name so Johnny wouldn’t sell them, presumably for the substances he is addicted to.
According to a GoFundMe spokesman, the company is in the process of “looking into the claims of misuse regarding this campaign.”
A statement from GoFundMe reads:
“When there is a dispute, we work with all parties involved to ensure funds go to the right place.
We will work to ensure that Johnny receives the help he deserves and that the donors’ intentions are honored.”
Johnny’s plan was certainly not to live in a camper, as Attorney Promislo said:
“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. That would have been a much better environment.”
According to Unilad:
“Promislo added Bobbitt is now living on the streets of Philadelphia ‘in harm’s way’. Bobbitt had been very successful at a methadone clinic before, but he is not physically in detox now.”
“Not physically in detox now” probably means, on hard drugs. It’s a very unfortunate case, because on one hand, the couple seems to be spending all the money that truly belongs to him on totally superficial things when they aren’t the ones in need. On the other hand, the man might also actually be destroying himself with substances.
So what is happening with it now? Well, a judge gave the South Jersey couple less than a day to give up the remaining money out of the $400,000 to Bobbit. Then Bobbit’s attorney was told the money is entirely gone.
GoFundMe personally gave $20,000 to Bobbit while the rest of his money that is probably gone is “retrieved,” and aside from that, we don’t know what’s going on. This couple probably spent all his money.