Man who swindled homeless hero, in court, promises explanation for his crime
THE New Jersey man under investigation over more than $US400,000 ($A555,000) raised online for a homeless good Samaritan said on Tuesday answers are coming in the confusing case.
Mark D’Amico appeared in a southern New Jersey court on unrelated traffic charges and mostly declined to address the headline-grabbing GoFundMe case, but when a reporter asked if everything would become clear, Mr D’Amico responded, “Crystal clear.”
His lawyer, Ernest Badway, declined to comment further.
It’s the latest development in a one-time feel-good story that has turned into a clash over money - and now involves a criminal probe into Mr D’Amico and his girlfriend Katelyn McClure.
The Burlington County prosecutor is investigating Mr D’Amico and Ms McClure over a GoFundMe page they set up for Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless man who helped McClure get gas with his last $US20 ($A27) when she became stranded on a Philadelphia highway last year.
To thank him, she set up the fundraising page, which brought in more than $US400,000 ($A550,000) and landed them on national TV. The relationship soured though and and prosecutors began investigating.
It’s not exactly clear what happened with the money, though Mr Bobbitt’s lawyer has said it’s all gone.
Mr Badway, the couple’s lawyer said in court this month that Bobbitt got about $US200,000 ($A270,000), but his lawyer said it was only $US75,000 ($A105,000). Mr Badway has said he thinks it’s likely that the couple would be indicted.
The couple earlier denied wrongdoing. Their rural New Jersey home about 50km northeast of Philadelphia was raided by investigators executing a search warrant. Among other items, authorities hauled away a new BMW on a flatbed truck.
Mr Bobbitt’s lawyer said earlier that his client was about to enter a residential treatment program to address drug addiction.
The civil case is on hold until December. The couple has not been criminally charged.