PHILADELPHIA – After Johnny Bobbitt Jr., a homeless man with just $20 in his pocket, gave stranded motorist Kate McClure the money for gas last October, the woman and her boyfriend raised $400,000 to help him out.
But the feel-good viral story recently devolved into a feud over how much money Bobbitt had yet to see.
The case went to a New Jersey court on Thursday, where a judge ruled the couple needs to provide a full accounting of where the money has gone and said until then the remaining money needs to be turned over to Bobbitt’s legal team and kept in a trust.
The two sides differed as to how much had been disbursed. McClure’s and D’Amico’s attorney said they had provided Bobbitt with more than $200,000, WPVI and KYW reported. Bobbitt’s lawyer, Chris Fallon, said the amount was about $75,000.
CNN called Ernest Badway, an attorney for the couple, who said he had no comment. In court he told the judge the couple “have said they will have a forensic accountant. They have said they are fine with the trustee. They have said they will open up the books. What more can they do?”
He urged the public to withhold judgment until the accounting of the money was finished.
The judge wants that done by September 10, WPVI reported.
KYW reported the judge ordered the remaining money put in trust on Friday.
“What I would say to those people is thank you for your generosity,” Fallon said outside court, “and we’ll work hard to make sure that that money gets spent the way you all wanted it spent.”
Some of the money went to GoFundme administrative fees.
In an interview earlier this week with The Philadelphia Inquirer, McClure said she and D’Amico did what they could to help Bobbitt, who has a drug addiction, according to Fallon. The couple told the newspaper they gave Bobbitt more than half the money but were withholding the rest until he gets a job and is drug-free.