A New Jersey couple who was praised for raising $400,000 for a homeless veteran is now under scrutiny after being accused of stealing the funds. Authorities in Burlington County, New Jersey, executed a search warrant at the home of the couple early on Thursday.
Newsweek rounded up all the latest developments in the case, including a judge’s order mandating the couple to appear in court.
Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico were under investigation over missing funds they raised for Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless veteran. The two launched a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $400,000 after Bobbitt shared his last $20 with McClure when she got stranded on I-95 in Philadelphia in November 2017.
“Due to the enormous public interest in this matter, I am confirming that a search warrant was executed early this morning by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Florence Township Police Department at the residence of Mark D’Amico and Katelyn McClure in connection with a criminal investigation into the Johnny Bobbitt matter,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina said in a statement published on Facebook.
Coffina said that no charges have been filed against the couple. The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.
Officials were seen towing the couple’s BMW and removing boxes believed to contain evidence, KYW-TV reported.
Judge Paula Dow told the couple’s lawyer on Wednesday that she had several questions for them about the case and ordered them to appear in court. The couple was ordered to give depositions about the money raised for Bobbitt, WPVI reported.
The couple’s lawyer Ernest Bradway attempted to assert his clients’ Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
“You should advise your clients that they are directed by the court to appear, and they can assert their privileges at that time. I am no longer comfortable with counsel representing what their clients purport to say, when I have no certifications from the clients, no appearances by the clients, and a record that before me lacks clarity at times as to what happened with the funds,” Dow said.
The judge also ordered the couple’s lawyer and Bobbitt’s lawyer to get their paperwork in order and to establish a money trail to determine who spent the money raised and how much.
Bobbitt’s attorney Chris Fallon announced Tuesday that he found out from Bradway that all of the money raised on behalf of Bobbitt was gone. Following GoFundMe’s fees, the total amount raised for Bobbitt would have reached $360,000, according to WPVI.
The couple claimed they gave Bobbitt $200,000, but he said he received about $75,000 in cash, goods and services. He claimed the couple spent the funds on a BMW, shopping sprees, gambling and on trips.