The saga of Johnny Bobbitt and the couple who needed gas money has been filled with twists and turns that are fit for an AMC drama side plot that spans an entire season. And now, it looks like it's reached a shocking, and thrilling conclusion.
Because as it turns out, Mark D'Amico and Kate McClure never needed money for gas in the first place. They needed a conspirator, and that person was Johnny Bobbitt. The story was fabricated as a long con for all of them to hoodwink members of the general public into giving them money for Bobbitt's "good deed."
But now all three of them are facing charges of conspiracy and theft by deception for their joint effort in concocting the hoax. Mark and Kate turned themselves into authorities, but Bobbitt still hasn't been apprehended.
The rest of the story, along with all of the craziness that occurred from the moment their story was concocted until we reached this inevitable conclusion is this:
A couple was stranded in Philadelphia when they ran out of gas. Thankfully, Johnny Bobbitt came to their rescue by giving them the last $20 that he had so they could put some gas in their car.
They pretended to be grateful for his selflessness, and took to the internet to tell everyone about his good deed and set up a fundraising account to get Johnny some recognition, but more importantly, some money for his nice act.
What they probably underestimated, however, was just how generous people on the internet who love a wholesome, heartwarming story could be. Because Johnny ended up getting more $400,000 for his gesture. At least they were telling people it was supposed to go to Johnny.
The "gesture," as Mark and Katie told it, was that Johnny walked a couple of blocks to get Katie, who was stranded, a canister of gas so she could get back home. Her boyfriend Mark set up the crowdfunding campaign that ended up raking in a bunch of cash from people who were touched by the bogus tale.
They returned to seek out Johnny and eventually found him to not only return him his money, but give him some food and water and take a selfie (which was later used for the campaign). It had all the makings of a beautiful, uplifting viral story.
But their happy relationship wasn't happy for long, as Johnny said that the couple withheld large portions of the money that they raised. He said he was given $200,000 of the money, but the couple expressed that they had some reservations about giving him the rest.
Mark said that their homeless friend blew $25,000 in under two weeks on drugs in December of 2017, in addition to sending some money to his family and paying legal fees that he owed.
With the money, the couple also purchased Johnny a camper that was parked on a property that McClure's family owns in Florence, NJ. However, Mark asked Johnny to leave the property sometime in June 2018, and he returned to living on the streets.
In an interview with Megyn Kelly, Mark said on air that there is well over $150,000 left of the donation money and that he feared, after seeing how much cash Johnny spent on drugs, that he would waste it all in a short amount of time.
The couple said that they doled out the money in increments to Johnny to prevent him from spending it all, a structure that the homeless do-gooder called "a joke" to WPVI. This was back when everyone still thought he was defrauded, remember.
"I had to ask them for everything in the beginning. It was like a joke. They were like my parents, but the joke starts not being funny," Johnny said in a statement to the network.
After GoFundMe took their fees for its fundraising, Bobbitt was left with some $360,000, much of which Johnny alleged the couple spent on vacations, shopping, and gambling excursions. Sounds like the three of them had an agreement to split the money, but then things went south once greed entered the equation. But they all played their parts to the media, like this quote from Johnny:
"I wish it didn't come to this. I hate that it came to this. I always felt like I was in a weird situation. I didn't want to be pressuring to get a lawyer or do anything because I didn't want to seem ungrateful," Johnny said.
The homeless man eventually took his grievances with the way Mark and Katie handled the fraudulently raised money they helped raise for him to court, and Burlington County Superior Court Judge Paula T. presided over the matter with the homeless veteran and the couple.
She ruled in favor of Johnny, ordering that the remainder of the crowdfunded cash be placed under the control of his lawyers. She also requested a full account of how the funds were allocated in the time that the couple raised the money.
Johnny's attorney, Chris Fallon, back when people still believed Mark and Katie defrauded Bobbit, said that the $200,000 estimation submitted by the couple's legal team is incorrect and that they owe the homeless man much more.
"We don't know where it went, but we will find out. And we will know how much money remains after the money is transferred from the defendants to our escrow account," he said.
According to Johnny's estimations at the time, the couple only gave him around $75,000 worth of cash and goods of the money, which included the pickup truck and camper they bought for him.
The vehicles were purchased in their name, however, and were sold after he was asked to leave Katie's family's property in Florence, money that Johnny wasn't given.
Allegedly, the couple also spent some of the cash for front row tickets to The Book of Mormon on Broadway, along with a Louis Vuitton handbag (which Katie was photographed with), a trip to Las Vegas where they spent New Year's Eve at Skyfall and helicopter rides through the Grand Canyon.
The couple's attorney at the time said that they were being transparent and had nothing to hide and that a lot of the pitch-forking that occurred online is unwarranted. But now, we see that it was totally warranted, just for an entirely different reason.
"They have said they will have a forensic accounting, they've said they're fine with a trustee, they've said they are they'll open their books. What more can they do? I urge everybody to withhold judgment until that's been made public," James Badway said.
Of course, now we finally know the truth: It was a hoax all along!
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