After Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless veteran, used his last $20 to help Katie McClure after she ran out of gas, McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, set up a GoFundMe page to try and get Bobbitt off the streets. However, a controversy erupted after it appeared the couple was spending some of the money on themselves.
Bobbitt’s selfless actions gained worldwide attention, allowing the GoFundMe page to achieve viral status, collecting more than $400,000 in donations. But, after just nine months, the couple admitted only $150,000 remained.
Additionally, Bobbitt claimed the couple wasn’t providing him with the promised funds and were spending some of the money on themselves, leading him to file a lawsuit.
Bobbitt ultimately ended up back on the streets. While the lawsuit went forward, Burlington County Judge Paula Dow granted a restraining order as well as a request by Bobbitt’s attorneys that prohibited McClure and D’Amico from using any of the remaining donations for “any purposes other than to directly benefit Bobbitt.”
The judge also ordered the couple to provide an account of how the money was spent, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
The couple alleges that Bobbitt began using some of the money provided to him on drugs, leading them not to give Bobbitt any additional cash.
“We saw the pattern developing. Every dollar he ever touched was used for drugs,” said D’Amico.
While some of the money was spent on Bobbitt, Bobbitt also claims the pair used some of the cash for personal benefit, including vacations and a new car, though the couple denies these allegations.
Now, Dow has ordered that the remaining funds from the GoFundMe campaign be returned to Bobbitt.
Dow stated that she ruled in Bobbitt’s favor because “immediate” and “irreparable harm” could come to him if the rest of the money was depleted.
She added that it had not been proven whether McClure and D’Amico used any of the donations for personal gain.
“The balance of relative hardships clearly and convincingly favors plaintiff at this time,” said Dow, noting that “the harm to the defendants here is relatively minor.”
The couple plans to file counterclaims regarding items, and cash Bobbitt allegedly stole from them and their families, amounting to thousands of dollars.