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September 05, 2018

Couple who raised $400,000 for homeless vet tries to plead Fifth Amendment

Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico attempted to avoid disclosing financial records

Courts GoFundMe
Kate McClure Johnny Kate McClure/GoFundMe

Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless man who helped her after she got stranded on I-95 in Philadelphia. McClure started a crowdfunding effort that raised more than $400,000 to help the veteran get back on his feet. But now much of the money is reporting missing.

The New Jersey couple who raised more than $400,000 for a homeless veteran – and is now suspected of possibly pocketing those funds for their own use – did not appear for a court hearing Wednesday but through their attorney tried to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights.

LATEST: Authorities search home of New Jersey couple behind viral GoFundMe that raised $400,000 for homeless veteran

The lawyer for Johnny Bobbit Jr., who was meant to receive the funds raised through GoFundMe started by Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico late last year, said Tuesday that the money raised from more than 14,000 donations is now completely gone.

The online fundraiser began in November, after McClure, of Burlington County, had found herself stranded with on I-95 with no gas. Bobbitt helped her out, spending his own money to retrieve gas for her, and she and her boyfriend D'Amico created a GoFundMe campaign to thank Bobbit and help turn around his life.

Though the campaign went viral across the country – totaling more then 40 times its goal in donations – the news surrounding former feel-good story during the last several weeks paints a much bleaker picture.

McClure and D'Amico had been scheduled to appear in a court hearing Wednesday, but their attorney told the judge they wished to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, reported.

Superior Court Judge Paula Dow reportedly rejected the request because this was the couple's second failure to appear in court.

RELATED: How easy is it to use a viral crowdfunding campaign to steal people's money?

Bobbitt's attorney, Christopher C. Fallon, Jr., now is trying to determine what happened to the money and is seeking McClure and D'Amico's financial records. He said in court Wednesday that he would like to recover any remaining money that is owed to Bobbitt, stating, "I'm not sure that I accept that it is all gone."

Catch up on our most recent coverage of the case here.

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