Crime & Courts

Couple thanked homeless man by raising $400,000. It’s gone, but he didn’t get it, he says

The $400,000 raised on a Go Fund Me site for a homeless North Carolina veteran is gone, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

A Go Fund Me spokesman, however, said the site “is working (with law enforcement) to make sure he gets the money raised on his behalf,” The Associated Press reported.

Late Tuesday, a veteran-run home builder based in Dayton, Ohio, started an additional Go Fund Me page to help raise the money for veteran Johnny Bobbitt.

“This is an absolute tragedy, and no way to treat one of our Nation’s Heroes!” David “Howie” Howerton, founder of Howie Homes LLC, said on the Go Fund Me page he established.

Kate McClure, 28, and Mark D’Amico, 35, created their Go Fund Me account last year after Johnny Bobbitt gave his last $20 to help McClure when her car broke down on Interstate 95 near Philadelphia, according to the GoFundMe page, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Where the money went is unknown, Philadelphia TV station WPVI reported.

A New Jersey judge had ordered the couple to turn the money over by last Friday, the Inquirer reported.

Bobbitt’s lawyer, Chris Fallon, said lawyers for McClure and D’Amico told him on a phone call Tuesday morning that the money is missing, according to the Inquirer.

McClure and D’Amico’s attorney, Ernest Badway, told The Associated Press on Tuesday they have no comment.

McClure said recently that her goal was to raise $10,000 to get Bobbitt an apartment and money to cover expenses for up to six months, the Observer previously reported. National news coverage of Bobbitt’s gesture boosted the total to $402,706, the Observer reported.

Bobbitt is from Henderson, NC, according to a November profile in the News & Observer. He is a former paramedic and veteran of the Marine Corps, the newspaper reported.

Bobbitt filed a lawsuit when the couple didn’t give him all of the money, and spent the money on themselves, WTAE reported.

A lawyer for the couple said Bobbitt received $200,000, WPVI reported. Bobbitt, however said he received only $75,000 and is still living on the streets, while the couple spent other proceeds on “lavish trips, shopping sprees and gambling,” the station reported.

A New Jersey Superior Court judge has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, according to WPVI.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak