The New Jersey couple accused of stealing than $400,000 from an online fundraiser for a homeless veteran is likely to face charges, according to a lawyer representing the couple.
Attorney Ernest Badway wrote in a motion filed in court Monday that his clients Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico could no longer “defend themselves” because they could not access financial records, and it is likely prosecutors would indict the couple.
“(Since) it is expected that one or both of the defendants will likely be indicted, my firm and I will no longer be able to continue our representation of them in this matter,” Badway wrote.
McClure and D’Amico were scheduled to give depositions Monday for the civil case, but the judge decided to put the civil case on hold until December pending the outcome of a criminal investigation into McClure and D’Amico, the Burlington County Times reported.
The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office said prosecutors have not filed charges against the couple.
Authorities conducted a search warrant of McClure and D’Amico’s home on Thursday, searching the home and inspecting a black BMW before hauling it away.
The initially heartwarming tale began last Thanksgiving when homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt gave McClure his last $20 for gas after her car ran out of fuel in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood.
McClure’s boyfriend, D’Amico, started a GoFundMe campaign for $10,000 to help Bobbitt get through the winter as a thank you for his kind gesture. The campaign went viral and surpassed its $10,000 goal to raise more than $400,000.
But the story did not have such a happy ending after plans to disperse the money went downhill and Bobbitt claimed the couple had not given him all the money they raised for him.
McClure and D’Amico claimed they spent half of the money on housing and miscellaneous expenses for Bobbitt, who wound up living on the streets again.
The pair claimed they withheld the rest of the money from Bobbitt, who has been fighting a drug addiction, fearing he would use the money to buy drugs.
But reports stated that McClure used some of the money to buy a new BMW and go on an expensive trip to California, and D’Amico used some of the money on gambling—although D’Amico said he paid the money back to the account. Bobbitt’s attorneys also claim their client only received $75,000 of the proceeds from the fundraiser.
Attorneys filed a lawsuit on Bobbitt’s behalf in August ordering D’Amico and McClure to fork over the remaining cash.
A judge then ordered the couple to put the rest of the money in a trust for Bobbitt and provide a detailed accounting of all the money raised through the crowdfunding campaign.