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September 06, 2018

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

Investigations 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.

Authorities executed a search warrant on the New Jersey home of Kate McClure and Mark D'Amico on Thursday morning in connection with a criminal investigation into the couple behind the viral GoFundMe campaign that raised $400,000 for a homeless veteran.

The once heartwarming story behind the fundraiser has gone awry in recent weeks, as reports swirl that McClure and D'Amico have allegedly squandered the funds on personal expenses such as travel, gambling, and a used BMW. The attorney for Johnny Bobbit, Jr., the man originally slated to receive the crowdfunded donations, learned Tuesday that any remaining funds are gone.

McClure and D'Amico's home in Florence Township, Burlington County, was searched, reports, though no charges have been filed against the couple at this time. Jaqueline Promislo, an attorney on Bobbitt's legal team, said the search warrant was not in connection to Bobbitt's civil suit, noting it's beyond the authority of a civil case to issue a search warrant.

"We are just working on a discovery at this time," she said.

Footage from the police search shows a black BMW, owned by the couple, being towed away. Other footage reveals D'Amico hitting golf balls near the house. There also are reports of bags filled with items being loaded into an authority's car. 

After the search, McClure left her home and drove away without speaking to reporters.

The couple failed to appear in court Wednesday and tried to invoke their 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination in an attempt to not disclose their financial records as part of Bobbitt's civil lawsuit. Superior Court Judge Paul Dow stopped the move by McClure and D'Amico and said that they must appear in court next week for a deposition on the whereabouts of the money.

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