GoFundMe Investigating Viral Campaign for Homeless Man Who Helped New Jersey Woman Stranded in Philadelphia - NBC Bay Area
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GoFundMe Investigating Viral Campaign for Homeless Man Who Helped New Jersey Woman Stranded in Philadelphia

"I think it might have been good intentions in the beginning, but with that amount of money, I think it became greed," Johnny Bobbitt said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NJ Woman Raises Money for Homeless Man

    A New Jersey woman started a fundraising campaign for a homeless man who came to her aid when her car ran out of gas.

    (Published Friday, Aug. 24, 2018)

    A homeless man whose act of generosity gained worldwide attention last year says that despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised on his behalf, he is panhandling again and using drugs because he has no access to the funds.

    Kate McClure of New Jersey had no cash on her when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia last November, and Johnny Bobbitt came to her aid, giving the stranded motorist his last $20.

    McClure and her boyfriend Mark D'Amico started a GoFundMe campaign in return, promising that Bobbitt would have a home.

    But Bobbitt told Philly.com he can't use the $200,000 left out of the $400,000 that donors raised on GoFundMe, and he no longer has the camper or car that had been purchased for him with some of the funds.

    "What [Bobbitt] would like is to obtain the money that has been raised for him," Bobbitt's attorney Jacqueline Promislo told NBC News. "Over 14,000 people gave him money to help him get off the streets and give him a safe place to live."

    She said that Bobbitt estimated he used about $75,000 to buy an SUV and a camper, in which he lived in until June, but that he no longer has access to the remaining funds.

    McClure says the couple did all they could to help Bobbitt.

    In an interview with the Inquirer last week, D'Amico said he controls the money and will start dispensing it when Bobbitt gets a job and stops using drugs. 

    "Giving him all that money, it's never going to happen. I'll burn it in front of him," he said, adding that giving an "addict" the money would be like "giving him a loaded gun." 

    Bobbitt questions the couple's motives and fears they may have squandered the money, pointing to vacations the two have apparently taken and to McClure driving what appears to be a new BMW.

    "I think it might have been good intentions in the beginning, but with that amount of money, I think it became greed," Bobbitt said. 

    D'Amico acknowledged to the Inquirer spending $500 from the GoFundMe money while gambling at a casino but said he repaid it with his winnings.

    GoFundMe is investigating whether the money was mismanaged, and said it will work to ensure Bobbitt "receives the help he deserves and that the donors' intentions are honored."