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They Gave a Homeless Man a Place to Live. Now He's Suing

Johnny Bobbitt says couple is using donated funds as 'piggy bank'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2018 7:34 AM CDT
Johnny Bobbitt Jr., left, Kate McClure, right, and McClure's boyfriend Mark D'Amico pose in Philadelphia on Nov. 17, 2017.   (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
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(Newser) – The Philadelphia couple who raised more than $400,000 for a homeless veteran are using the fund as their "personal piggy bank," lawyers for Johnny Bobbitt Jr. write in a lawsuit filed Tuesday. Though lawyers say Bobbitt is staying at a hotel during a third stint in rehab, the 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran had been back to panhandling and battling a drug addiction on Philadelphia's streets despite a generous GoFundMe campaign organized by Kate McClure, 28, and Mark D'Amico, 39. They started the campaign after Bobbitt used his last $20 to buy gas for a stranded McClure and later bought a camper in which Bobbitt resided on property owned by McClure's family. Asked to leave in June because of drug use, per the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bobbitt alleges he's received just $75,000 of what he's due.

McClure and D'Amico have interfered, spending more than half of the $402,000 raised "to fund a lifestyle that they could not otherwise afford," the lawsuit claims, per ABC News. Bobbitt previously wondered at how McClure, a receptionist, could afford a new BMW. But the couple have said only $500 of the fund was improperly spent on gambling and repaid. Noting well over $150,000 remains but is being withheld from Bobbitt for fear he will spend it on drugs, the couple say they'll open the fund to review by an accountant, per the Inquirer. Too late, according to Bobbitt's lawyers, who say the lawsuit seeking a court-appointed overseer of the account came after D'Amico ignored repeated requests for a full accounting. "He's really left us with no choice but to go forward," one tells the AP. A Thursday hearing is set. (Read more GoFundMe stories.)

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