Good Samaritan and homeless Marine allegedly robbed of $400K—by the New Jersey couple he once helped John Bobbitt didn't have to do the right thing, but he did. Now he's getting screwed. It appears that a very successful GoFundMe campaign for a homeless veteran has been mishandled, and almost half a million dollars in donations is gone. It all started one night last October, when Kate McClure, 28, ran out of gas in Philadelphia, on her way home to New Jersey. Luckily for her, a Good Samaritan saved the day. I pulled over as far as I could, and got out of the car to head to the nearest gas station. That’s when I met Johnny. Johnny sits on the side of the road every day, holding a sign. He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors. A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can. Using his last 20 dollars to make sure I could get home safe. Folks were understandably touched by the story, and 14,237 people quickly donated over $400,000 to secure Bobbitt’s future, thanks to an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign started by McClure. Now, less than year later, and just weeks after Bobbitt accused McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, of mishandling the donations, Bobbitt is still homeless and addicted to drugs, and his attorney, Chris Fallon, has just learned that the money is gone. All of it. Spoiler How did we get here? Let’s take a few steps back. McClure and D’Amico initially vowed to protect the donations by setting up two trusts for Bobbitt, a former Marine and first responder. Here’s the original plan, in McClure’s own words, via the original GoFundMe fundraiser: The first thing on the list is a NEW Home which Johnny will own!! He will never have to worry about a roof over his head again!! Second will be the dream truck he's always wanted... a 1999 ford ranger (yes I'm serious). There will also be 2 trusts set up in his name, one essentially giving him the ability to collect a small "salary" each year and another retirement trust which will be wisely invested by a financial planner which he will have access to in a time frame he feels comfortable with so when the time comes he can live his retirement dream of owning a piece of land and a cabin in the country. A bank account will be set up for him with funds for every day needs that will get him through until he finds a job. And lastly, he will be donating to a few organizations and people who over the last couple of years have helped him get through this rough patch in his life. This is a well thought out plan that Johnny his lawyer and financial advisor came up with in order to give Johnny the means to acclimate back into a "normal" life and also to protect him and ensure he has a bright future. Sounds like a thoughtful plan, if that’s what had actually happened. A local reporter, ABC6’s Chad Pradelli, started quietly watching the couple in late 2017, after receiving a tip that the couple was up to no good. In just a few months, McClure posted pictures and videos of a New Year's Eve Bash in Las Vegas, helicopter rides, trips to New York with front row tickets to a Broadway show, and shopping excursions. How they paid for the items and trips is unclear. McClure is an administrative assistant with the state of New Jersey who makes $43,000 per year. D'Amico is a carpenter. A BMW also magically appeared in their driveway. Even without exploring how the couple financed their lifestyle upgrade, all parties do agree that the original plan of a purchasing Bobbitt a house and dream truck was never executed. Bobbitt claims he never met the lawyer or the financial advisor, while the couple disagrees with Bobbitt on the details. The promise of a home gave way to a camper that Bobbitt lived in until June on land McClure's family owns in rural Florence Township, Burlington County, near the small house the couple share. He never got his "dream" pickup, a 1999 Ford Ranger, and the used SUV he was given instead broke down. The couple said they put the two vehicles in McClure's name so Bobbitt couldn't sell them, but both vehicles have since been sold. After Bobbitt’s allegations of theft surfaced, D’Amico and McClure remained resolute in their denials of wrongdoing, though they could have used a little help with their public relations skills. The couple declined to produce financial statements or provide an accounting of the spending from the GoFundMe campaign. They said they spent much of the money on the hotel Bobbitt stayed in until they bought him the camper and an SUV, along with a television, laptop, and two cellphones. They also paid for food and clothing, they said. GoFundMe kept $30,000 as a standard fee. McClure, through tears, said she and D'Amico did all they could to help Bobbitt, and she still believes he can turn his life around. But for now, she feels frustrated and betrayed. "I don't want to lose my job over this," she said. D'Amico said he controls the money and did nothing wrong. "Write what you want," he said last week. "Giving him all that money, it's never going to happen. I'll burn it in front of him," said D'Amico. Giving the money to someone addicted to drugs, he said, would be like "giving him a loaded gun." After reading that little snippet, it’s pretty hard not to think a bit less of these supposed do-gooders—McClure only cares about her job, and D’Amico is talking about setting money on fire. Bobbitt himself describes an awkward situation where he had to beg the couple for every dime, but went along with it because he didn’t want to seem “ungrateful.” Meanwhile, the couple’s story changed with each passing day. In recent days, D'Amico told an evolving account of his stewardship of the money. Initially, he said he would not produce financial records because the money was put into an existing account at PNC bank that does not belong to Bobbitt. On Wednesday, he said he and McClure had opened up a separate account for Bobbitt. On Thursday morning he said he told a reporter the trusts had been set up because that's what Bobbitt wanted him to say. D’Amico also admitted that he “borrowed” $500 from the GoFundMe cash in order to gamble, but repaid it with his winnings. The actual amount remaining was in dispute—Bobbitt claimed he’d received about $75,000, some of which he spent on drugs (and two stints in rehab), while McClure and D’Amico insisted Bobbitt, who they paint as an unreliable drug addict, received closer to $200,000. Yet even with the couple’s accounting, and the fees paid to GoFundMe, there should easily have been around $160,000 left for Bobbitt. Sure enough, in a sympathetic segment, the emotional couple told Megyn Kelly that while their funds and Bobbitt’s were commingled, there was “well over $150,000” left for Bobbitt. The couple insists they did nothing wrong. With that in mind, at a hearing on August 30, McClure and D’Amico were ordered to move what was left of the money out of their personal accounts and into escrow, within 24 hours, and deliver a full accounting of their spending within ten days. The couple’s lawyer pushed back on the order with no success, claiming that McClure and D’Amico were cooperating, and strangely, he quoted Megyn Kelly—almost verbatim—to the judge. "They have said they will have a forensic accounting, they've said they're fine with a trustee, they've said they are they'll open their books. What more can they do?" said Ernest Badway. "I urge everybody to withhold judgement until that's been made public." But the Friday deadline came and went, and no money arrived. And today, according to Bobbitt attorney Chris Fallon, Badway revealed that all of the money is gone, via conference call. I rarely talk about myself here on Daily Kos, but this story has me absolutely full of rage. Those of you who know me personally (or have googled me curiously) may know that in 2013, I found myself at the center of a viral crowdfunding campaign for a young homeless man. It was a much smaller scale than this one, but we also were on Ellen and the Today Show as a result. Folks love these sorts of feel-good stories. Anyway, I suddenly found myself responsible—at my young friend’s request—for what ultimately became over six figures, and disbursing it to my young friend as I saw fit, in order to fund his college education. It was a big job, but I did it happily. Meanwhile, I hit bumps in my life’s road. Unemployment, a broken refrigerator, family emergencies, medical crises, you name it, I had it. Never, not once, did it occur to me to spend that money on my own survival, much less lavish adventures or expensive status items. Five years later, that crowdfunded money is gone. But my young friend also has a college degree from one of the best universities in the country. The money is supposed to be gone, and he’s supposed to have a diploma. Everything went right and well. So, strangely enough, I’ve been in McClure and D’Amico’s odd position of power, with access to someone else’s money. I can’t help but sob in anger as I write John Bobbitt’s story today. He’s back to panhandling in Philadelphia, and fighting active addiction once more—but it didn’t have to happen this way. A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for tomorrow in New Jersey Superior Court, and should offer many more answers than we have today. GoFundMe is also investigating the usage of the funds, and has already announced it will guarantee the funds and honor the 14,000+ donors who gave freely to Bobbitt. "We are working with law enforcement officials to ensure Johnny receives all of the funds raised on his behalf. While we assist law enforcement with their ongoing investigation, GoFundMe is also working with Johnny's legal team to ensure he's receiving support while the remaining funds are being recovered. GoFundMe has given $20,000 to a bank account created by Johnny's legal team to provide assistance during the investigation. It’s important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors and beneficiaries are protected.” ...We can all admit that $400,000 is a life-changing amount of money, but from here, it appears the wrong lives were changed.