A judge has ordered a couple to pay what remains of $400 000 they raised for a homeless veteran through a GoFundMe campaign into a trust account, and to have a forensic audit done on how the rest of the money was spent.
Kate McClure, 28, arranged the campaign, hoping to raise $10 000 for the veteran, Johnny Bobbitt Jnr, 35, after he donated his last $20 to her to ensure she would get home safely after running out of petrol one night.
But after the story went viral, $400 000 streamed in instead of the initial target of $10 000.
Bobbitt’s lawyers told the court that at least $250 000 had not been paid to Bobbitt, and that instead McClure and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico, 39, were spending the money on themselves.
Although social media accounts for the New Jersey couple in recent months include photos of vacations, trips to Broadway and a designer handbag, the couple denied they’d spent Bobbit’s money.
They did concede they had withheld some of the funds, but said it was because Bobbitt was spending cash they gave him on drugs.
Bobbit told ABC News: “I hate that it has come to this. I always felt like I was in a weird situation. I didn’t want to be pressuring to a get a lawyer or anything because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful.”
The judge ordered that what money remained be paid into a trust account immediately, and the forensic audit of expenditure to be completed by September 10.