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Friday 31 August 2018

Homeless man sues couple who raised $400k to help him

A homeless man who went viral last year after he gave a stranded woman his last $20, is now suing the woman and her husband after they raised money to help him.

Last year, Johnny Bobbitt gave his last $20 to Kate McClure when her car ran out of petrol. Kate shared the news online and Johnny went viral.

Subsequently, Kate and her husband, Mark D'Amico started an online fundraiser for him, which drew contributions from over 14,000 donors. The US couple raised more than $400,000 to help Bobbitt. But the homeless man is now accusing them of using the donations as their own "piggy bank".

On Tuesday, Bobbitt, 35, filed a lawsuit alleging fraud and conspiracy. Lawyers representing Bobbitt wrote in documents filed in Mount Holly, Philadelphia, that the couple had used the GoFundMe account they set up for Mr Bobbitt "to fund a lifestyle that they could not otherwise afford".

Mr D'Amico works as a carpenter and Ms McClure is a receptionist for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, according to local media.

In recent interviews, Mr Bobbitt said Ms McClure, 28, and Mr D'Amico, 39, had recently paid for trips to Las Vegas and Florida, and a new BMW. Bobbitt says the couple sold his camper, gambled away some of his money, and have declined to provide him with any financial records.

But, last week, Ms McClure told the Philadelphia Inquirer she felt frustrated and betrayed, and that she still wished to help Mr Bobbitt.

"I don't want to lose my job over this," she tearfully told the newspaper.

The couple claims he once blew $25,000 on drugs in just 13 days.

"Every dollar he ever touched was used for drugs," Mr D'Amico told NBC in a nationally televised interview on Monday.

A judge is set to hear the case on Thursday.

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