The sto­ry of John­ny Bob­bitt — a home­less man who used $20 of his own mon­ey to help a strand­ed woman — began as a feel-good fa­ble a­bout self­less­ness and com­pas­sion. But now, it's cur­dled into some­thing dark­er: a tale of greed and de­ceit.

Last week, Bob­bitt filed a law­suit against a New Jer­sey couple who had raised more than $400,000 on GoFundMe to help him re­build his life, al­leg­ing they'd with­held the mon­ey and spent it on va­ca­tions, gam­bling and a lux­u­ry car. A judge gave them until Sept. 3 to hand over the re­main­ing funds. But a day af­ter the dead­line, a lawyer for Bob­bitt said there's no mon­ey left to sur­ren­der, ac­cord­ing to re­port­ing from the Philadelphia In­quir­er.

Dur­ing an ap­pear­ance on Megyn Kelly's show last week, Kat­e Mc­Clure and Mark D'Amico insisted that $150,000 remained of the mon­ey they'd raised for Bob­bitt. The court had or­dered them to ac­count for what they'd spent and put the rest in a trust for the home­less vet­er­an. But on the same day his law­yers asked the judge to hold the couple in con­tempt of court for not turn­ing the mon­ey over, Bob­bitt's legal team dis­cov­ered that the funds were miss­ing dur­ing a con­fer­ence call with the couple's law­yers, the In­quir­er re­port­ed.

"It com­plete­ly shocked me when I heard,” Chris Fal­lon, one of Bob­bitt's law­yers, told the In­quir­er.

Now Bob­bitt's legal team is ask­ing Judge Paul­a T. Dow to force the couple to stay in New Jer­sey, give up their pass­ports and not spend any mon­ey from their bank ac­counts, the In­quir­er re­port­ed.

"If they flee, they're tak­ing the mon­ey with them,” Jac­que­line Promislo, another of Bob­bitt's at­tor­neys, told the In­quir­er. “We're re­al­ly con­cerned a­bout the flight risk."


Chris Fallon, an attorney for Johnny Bobbitt, said he was shocked when he heard there was no money left to turn over to his client. (Elizabeth Robertson/Philadelphia Inquirer/AP)

As The Washington Post pre­vi­ous­ly re­port­ed, Mc­Clure and D'Amico start­ed the crowdfunding cam­paign af­ter Bob­bitt came to Mc­Clure's res­cue on the side of the road in October 2017. Mc­Clure had run out of gas on In­ter­state 95 in Philadelphia, and Bob­bitt walked to a serv­ice sta­tion and spent $20 of his own mon­ey to buy her gas.

"John­ny did not ask me for a dol­lar, and I couldn’t re­pay him at that mo­ment be­cause I didn’t have any cash, but I have been stop­ping by his spot for the past few weeks,” Mc­Clure wrote on GoFundMe. “I re­paid him for the gas, gave him a jack­et, gloves, a hat, and warm socks, and I give him a few dol­lars every time I see him."

Mc­Clure and D'Amico hoped the GoFundMe ef­fort would raise $10,000, but the sto­ry reso­nated. It was fea­tured in na­tion­al news­papers, in­clud­ing The Post. The pair made an ap­pear­ance on “Good Morn­ing America” and were inter­viewed by BBC News — a feel-good sto­ry at the start of the hol­i­day sea­son last fall. Ul­ti­mate­ly, the cam­paign raised more than $402,000 from more than 14,000 donors.

But then the sto­ry soured, with ac­cu­sa­tions of mis­man­age­ment and out­right theft of the mon­ey raised on Bob­bitt’s be­half. The GoFundMe cash, Bob­bitt sus­pect­ed, had been squan­dered on va­ca­tions, a lux­u­ry car and more than one ad­dic­tion.

"He’s home­less and pen­ni­less,” Promislo said a­bout Bob­bitt in an inter­view with The Post last week. She add­ed that her cli­ent “wants what he want­ed be­fore” — a home to live in, clothes to wear and food to eat — and the mon­ey that was in­tend­ed for him.

Er­nest Badway, an attorney for Mc­Clure and D'Amico, said they have no com­ment.

There are con­flict­ing re­ports from the couple and Bob­bitt a­bout how the mon­ey was used and whether Bob­bitt was a par­tic­i­pant or a vic­tim.

Mc­Clure and D'Amico raised the money start­ing late last year to buy Bob­bitt, a­mong oth­er things, his own home and his “dream” truck: a 1999 Ford Ranger. But in the months that fol­lowed, the couple used the mon­ey to buy him a camp­er — in their own names — a TV, a lap­top and two cellphones, as well as a used SUV that has since bro­ken down, ac­cord­ing to local news re­ports.

Bob­bitt met with a fi­nan­cial adviser but nev­er had ac­cess to the mon­ey or signed pa­per­work for a trust, ac­cord­ing to the In­quir­er. D’Amico said he kept $200,000 — the a­mount that re­mained af­ter paying for the camp­er, SUV and oth­er ex­pens­es — in a savings ac­count that he would glad­ly turn over to Bob­bitt once he kicked an ad­dic­tion to opioids and man­aged to hold down a job.

But Bob­bitt said he saw troub­ling signs. Mc­Clure is a re­cep­tion­ist for the New Jer­sey Department of Transportation, and D’Amico is a car­pen­ter, ac­cord­ing to the In­quir­er. But sud­den­ly, she had a new BMW, and the couple were tak­ing va­ca­tions to Flori­da, Cali­for­nia and Las Vegas, Bob­bitt told the In­quir­er. He learn­ed of a heli­cop­ter ride they took over the Grand Canyon.

And Bob­bitt told the In­quir­er that D’Amico gam­bled away some of the GoFundMe mon­ey at a ca­si­no in Philadelphia. D’Amico told the news­paper he had in­deed used $500 from the bank ac­count to gam­ble on a night when he for­got his Sugarhouse Casino card but had “quick­ly re­paid” the mon­ey with his win­nings. The couple have de­nied that they used any more of the mon­ey for any­thing else for them­selves.

The In­quir­er re­port­ed that D’Amico spoke of ex­pens­es he and his girl­friend had in­curred car­ing for Bob­bitt, in­clud­ing time that they took off from work.

And D’Amico gave an “ev­olv­ing ac­count” to the In­quir­er of how he han­dled the mon­ey:

In­i­tial­ly, he said he would not pro­duce fi­nan­cial records be­cause the mon­ey was put into an ex­ist­ing ac­count at PNC Bank that does not be­long to Bob­bitt. On Wednes­day, he said he and Mc­Clure had op­ened up a sepa­rate ac­count for Bob­bitt. On Thurs­day morn­ing he said he told a re­port­er the trusts had been set up be­cause that’s what Bob­bitt want­ed him to say. Philadelphia In­quir­er

The mon­ey that came to Bob­bitt couldn’t stop his ad­dic­tion. He went through two un­suc­cess­ful stints in re­hab that brought him no clos­er to be­ing sober. Some of the mon­ey GoFundMe donors gave to him end­ed up in the pock­ets of drug deal­ers, Bob­bitt told the In­quir­er.

In A­pril, six months af­ter his fate­ful meet­ing with Mc­Clure, Bob­bitt told the In­quir­er that he had been clean for three weeks and job­less for much long­er.

“It’s going to be a strug­gle for the rest of my life,” he told the news­paper a­bout his ad­dic­tion.

Bob­bitt’s attorney told The Post that he is in detox and work­ing to get his life back.

Read more:

No place like the right­ful home: FBI finds stolen ruby slip­pers from ‘Wiz­ard of Oz’

‘He would be the first to kneel’: Pat Till­man ex­ploit­ed to attack Kaepernick, bi­og­ra­pher says

Bob Wood­ward’s new book re­veals a ‘nerv­ous break­down’ of Trump’s presi­den­cy