Founder of GoFundMe campaign for homeless man arrested on traffic warrant

The man accused of taking money from a GoFundMe account set up for a homeless veteran was arrested Monday night on an old traffic warrant.

Officials say Mark D’Amico was arrested for an outstanding traffic warrant out of Burlington City, New Jersey. He is currently being held at the Burlington County Detention Center on $500 bail.

The arrest is unrelated to the controversy encircling D’Amico and his girlfriend, Katelyn McClure, who have been accused in a lawsuit of stealing over $400,000 raised through a GoFundMe account for homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt. 

Last year, Bobbitt used $20 to help McClure when her car ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. To repay his kindness, McClure and D’Amico launched a GoFundMe page that brought in just over $400,000 from 14,000 contributors.

Helpful Homeless Man

 In this Nov. 17, 2017, file photo, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., left, Kate McClure, right, and McClure’s boyfriend Mark D’Amico, center, pose at a Citgo station in Philadelphia. Bobbitt, a homeless veteran, had used his last $20 to fill McClure’s gas tank when she was stranded.

Elizabeth Robertson / AP

At first the fundraising campaign led to national TV appearances for Bobbitt and McClure, but it has turned into a dispute over the money, most of which appears to have evaporated.

Bobbitt’s attorney claims in a lawsuit the couple took most of the money, but the couple has denied wrongdoing. GoFundMe says Bobbitt will receive what he is owed.

The couple’s lawyer, Ernest Badway, said in a letter dated Thursday that one or both could be indicted, and that he and his firm would no longer represent the couple in the lawsuit.

Badway petitioned Superior Court Judge Paula Dow to pause the civil case, the same day authorities raided the couple’s home in Florence, New Jersey. Law enforcement seized a BMW and other items from the property. Badway said in his letter that all the couple’s personal and business financial statements, along with jewelry and cash, were also seized.

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina last week confirmed there is a criminal investigation into the couple, citing the “enormous” public interest in the case, though no charges have been brought.

Bobbitt sued the couple over mismanagement of the funds, and Dow had ordered sworn statements to determine what happened to the cash, which attorneys say is all gone.

The formerly feel-good story has turned dismal, with Bobbitt saying the couple used the funds as a “personal piggy bank” to bankroll a lifestyle they couldn’t afford.

D’Amico has said Bobbitt spent $25,000 in less than two weeks last year on drugs as well as paying for overdue legal bills and sending money to family. Bobbitt’s attorney said last week Bobbitt was entering a residential program for drug treatment.

The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the cash and parked it on land McClure’s family owns in New Jersey. But Bobbitt became homeless again after D’Amico told him in June he had to leave.

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