A homeless man who helped a stranded motorist in the US said he is begging for money once again because he has no access to the $545,000 raised for him through a GoFundMe page.
Johnny Bobbitt gained worldwide attention when he used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of stranded motorist Kate McClure in Philadelphia in November 2017.
Ms McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, started a GoFundMe campaign in return, promising that Mr Bobbitt would have a home.
The couple are now being accused of withholding the funds raised for Mr Bobbitt.
The page quickly raised $545,000 (US$400,000), and Mr Bobbitt even revealed what he planned to purchase with his new-found fortune.
“We’ve received a lot of comments and questions about what Johnny’s plans are for this money and how it will be used,” Ms McClure revealed.
“The first thing on the list is a NEW Home which Johnny will own!!
“He will never have to worry about a roof over his head again!! Second will be the dream truck he’s always wanted.. … a 1999 Ford Ranger.”
But Mr Bobbitt told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he can’t use the $272,000 left out of the $545,000 that donors raised, and he no longer has a camper or a car.
D’Amico says he controls the money
Mr Bobbitt’s lawyer, Jacqueline Promislo, confirmed he was living on the streets and back on drugs, but said he was entitled the money raised for him.
“What [Mr Bobbitt] would like is to obtain the money that has been raised for him,” Promislo told NBC News.
“Over 14,000 people gave him money to help him get off the streets and give him a safe place to live.”
Ms McClure said the couple did all they could to help Mr Bobbitt.
Mr D’Amico said he controls the money and will start dispensing it when Mr Bobbitt gets a job and stops using drugs.
“Giving him all that money, it’s never going to happen,” he told the Inquirer.
“I’ll burn it in front of him,” he said, adding that giving an “addict” the money would be like “giving him a loaded gun.”
Mr Bobbitt fears the couple have spent the money themselves on holidays to California, Florida and the Grand Canyon, and gambled a portion away.
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“I think it might have been good intentions in the beginning, but with that amount of money, I think it became greed,” he said.
Mr D’Amico admitted to the Inquirer that he used $680 (US$500) of the money at a casino, but said he had since repaid the full amount.
GoFundMe is investigating whether the money was mismanaged and said it will work to ensure Mr Bobbitt “receives the help he deserves and that the donors’ intentions are honored.”