PHILADELPHIA -- 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 must now turn over what's left of the cash.
A New Jersey judge issued the order Thursday during a hearing on the lawsuit brought by Johnny Bobbitt, who said he worried Mark D'Amico and Katie McClure mismanaged a large part of the donations raised for him on GoFundMe.
The New Jersey couple denied the claims, saying they were wary of giving Bobbitt large sums because they feared he would 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.
After the ruling, Bobbitt spoke exclusively to sister station WPVI in Philadelphia.
"I wish it didn't come to this," he said. "I hate that it came to this."
Bobbitt gave up his last $20 to help McClure after she had run out of gas off of I-95, and McClure was so moved she and boyfriend D'Amico started a GoFundMe account for Bobbitt.
The fundraiser garnered approximately $400,000, which amounted to roughly $360,000 after GoFundMe's fees. Bobbitt claims he only received $75,000 in cash, goods and services, while the defense attorney contended Bobbitt actually received $200,000.
"I always felt like I was in a weird situation," he said. "I didn't want to be pressuring to get a lawyer or do anything because I didn't want to seem ungrateful."
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.
"I had to ask them for everything in the beginning," he said. "It was like a joke. They were like my parents, but the joke starts not being funny."
Bobbitt said McClure and D'Amico had complete control over his money and that they used thousands of it to go on lavish trips, shopping sprees and gambling. In just a few months, McClure posted pictures and videos of a New Year's Eve bash in Las Vegas at Skyfall, along with helicopter rides through the Grand Canyon, trips to New York City with front row tickets to the Broadway show "The Book of Mormon," and shopping excursions. McClure was also photographed carrying an expensive Louis Vuitton handbag.
McClure is an administrative assistant with the state of New Jersey. D'Amico is a carpenter. The couple has denied spending any of the GoFundMe money on themselves.
Earlier this week, Bobbitt filed a lawsuit to get the remaining money.
"We don't know where it went, but we will find out," attorney Chris Fallon said. "And we will know how much money remains after the money is transferred from the defendants to our escrow account."
The remaining money can't be used until the judge determines how it will be managed. The judge didn't appoint a guardian to oversee the fund, but one could be appointed later.
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New Jersey couple ordered to give homeless Samaritan all GoFundMe donations
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