John Bobbitt, the homeless veteran whose story went viral after he used his last $20 to help Kate McClure when her car ran out of gas, learned on Tuesday that all of the money raised in his name in a GoFundMe campaign is gone. The campaign originally received over $400,000 in donations.
Last month, Bobbitt filed a lawsuit against McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, claiming that the couple was using money from the GoFundMe campaign on themselves. The donations were raised in Bobbitt’s name and were supposed to be used to help get the homeless veteran off the streets.
The couple was accused of withholding and misusing the money, prompting Bobbitt to take legal action.
Last Thursday, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Paula Dow ordered McClure and D’Amico to return the remaining funds from the campaign, directing them to send the cash to Bobbitt’s attorneys by Friday. Additionally, they were ordered to provide a full accounting of the money within a 10-day period.
At that point, the amount of money remaining was in dispute. Chris Fallon, Bobbitt’s attorney, estimated that over $250,000 should be left, though the couple asserted that far less remained.
The couple claimed that the money that was spent was used for Bobbitt’s benefit, including the purchase of a vehicle and a trailer, as well as cash given directly to Bobbitt. The couple’s attorney, Ernest Bradway, says that Bobbitt received $200,000 from the campaign in money, goods, and services.
However, Bobbitt and his attorney stated that the pair spent a significant portion of the cash on themselves, using the fund to finance lavish vacations and possibly McClure’s new vehicle, which the couple denies.
Additionally, Bobbitt asserts that he only received approximately $75,000 in goods, services, and money from the pair.
On Tuesday, Fallon discovered during a conference call that there is nothing left of the $400,000 in donations raised in his client’s name, according to a report by ABC 6.
Precisely how the money was spent is still unknown.
GoFundMe released a statement regarding the manner, saying that any money that was misspent by the couple is guaranteed by the company. This means, if some of the funds were misspent by the couple, GoFundMe will provide that amount to Bobbitt, ensuring he “receives all of the funds raised on his behalf.”
“It’s important to remember that 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,” said GoFundMe the statement.
The crowdfunding platform is working with law enforcement, assisting in the investigation regarding the use of the funds. Additionally, GoFundMe has provided $20,000 to Bobbitt to “provide assistance during the investigation.”