Judge orders USA couple to hand crowdfunding money over to homeless veteran

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Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico raised the money for Johnny Bobbitt Jr. after Bobbitt used his last $20 to help the couple when they ran out of gas with no money on a Philadelphia highway in November. Bobbitt claims that she and her boyfriend Mark D'Amico stopped giving him money they had raised for him, and started using it for themselves, according to NBC Philadelphia.

World News - Attorneys for a homeless veteran filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a New Jersey couple who managed a viral GoFundMe page that raised almost $403,000 to get the man off the streets.

Attorney Ernest Badway, representing McClure and D'Amico, said the couple gave Bobbitt more than $200,000 and had tried to take him to drug treatment appointments and meetings with lawyers, but that he never showed up, the paper said.

The judge ordered the couple to transfer the money into an escrow account by the end of business on Friday and hire a forensic accountant to review the financial records within 10 days. Ultimately, the campaign raised more than $402,000 from more than 14,000 donors.

But Mr Bobbitt became homeless again after Mr D'Amico told him in June that he had to leave the property. The couple has been accused of misappropriating funds and ordered by a judge to give the money to Bobbitt.

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During an appearance Monday on NBC's Megyn Kelly Today show, D'Amico told Kelly there was well over US$150,000 left of the donations.

"If the money goes, it goes", Christopher Fallon, one of Bobbitt's attorneys, said in court.

After her story went viral, McClure set up a GoFundMe for Bobbitt that she said was meant to help buy the man a vehicle and get him a home.

"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".

The couple deny Mr Bobbitt's claim they helped themselves to the money.

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The lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages and interest, funds of counsel fees and costs of the lawsuit and accounting of all funds donated to the GoFundMe account.

McClure and D'Amico could not immediately be found for comment.

During an appearance on United States television on Monday, D'Amico revealed there is well over $150,000 left of the donations.

Badway described the judge's ruling as a "harsh remedy" because the couple plans to file counterclaims for thousands of dollars worth of items and cash that Bobbitt allegedly stole from them. He told The Inquirer the $AU34,000 given to him by the couple in December was given to family members, and a "small amount" was spent on drugs.

The pair denied Bobbitt's allegations, claiming the money already given to him was spent on drugs, overdue legal bills and dispersed to his family members.

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Lawyers for Mr Bobbitt, 35, allege in the lawsuit that the couple used it to "fund a lifestyle that they could not otherwise afford".