PHILADELPHIA (AP/WTXF) - A couple who raised more than $400,000 for a homeless man after he used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of a stranded motorist in Philadelphia was ordered to turn over the remaining funds. The only problem? There’s nothing left, according to the man’s attorney.
A New Jersey judge issued the order Thursday during a hearing on the lawsuit brought by Johnny Bobbitt, who worries Mark D'Amico and Katie McClure mismanaged a large part of the donations raised for him on GoFundMe.
The couple denied those claims, saying they're wary of giving Bobbitt large sums because they fear he will buy drugs.
The judge ordered the couple to transfer the money into an escrow account by the end of business Friday and hire a forensic accountant to review the financial records within 10 days.
Attorney's for Bobbitt tell FOX 29 they were informed by the defense team Tuesday morning that the money was gone.
McClure set up the online fundraiser page as a way to give back to Bobbitt, who came to her aid when she ran out of gas on an Interstate 95 exit ramp late one night. It raised more than $400,000 in funds donated by more than 14,000 people.
Bobbitt walked a few blocks to buy McClure gas. She didn't have money to repay him at the time, but sought him out days later to give him the money, and visited him a few more times to bring food and water. They later appeared on shows like "Good Morning America" and were interviewed by the BBC.
But the relationship has gone sour.
McClure and D'Amico have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or misusing any of the money.
D'Amico has said Bobbitt spent $25,000 in less than two weeks in December on drugs, in addition to paying overdue legal bills and sending money to his family.
The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the funds and parked it on land McClure's family owns in Florence. But Bobbitt became homeless again after D'Amico told him in June that he had to leave the property.
During an appearance Monday on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today" show, D'Amico told Kelly there was well over $150,000 left of the donations.
McClure and D’Amico have yet to respond to requests for comment.
A hearing for the case is scheduled for Wednesday.
GoFundMe released the following statement:
"We are working with law enforcement officials to ensure Johnny receives all of the funds raised on his behalf. While we assist law enforcement with their ongoing investigation, GoFundMe is also working with Johnny's legal team to ensure he's receiving support while the remaining funds are being recovered. GoFundMe has given $20,000 to a bank account created by Johnny's legal team to provide assistance during the investigation.
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.
For more information about the GoFundMe Guarantee, see here: https://www.gofundme.com/guarantee-refund-policy"