Editor’s Note: On Nov. 15, 2018, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office announced that the three central figures in this story had been arrested and charged with second-degree theft by deception and other offenses. Prosecutors concluded that their dramatic tale of rescue and redemption had been “completely made up.” Story detailing the findings can be found here.
The Burlington County man accused of taking GoFundMe donations meant for a homeless Johnny Bobbitt Jr. has been arrested on a bench warrant issued this summer after he twice failed to show up for municipal court hearings related to minor traffic offenses.
Mark D'Amico, 39, was released Tuesday afternoon on $500 bail from the Burlington County Jail following the arrest at his home Monday night in rural Florence Township.
D'Amico and his girlfriend, Kate McClure, 28, are under criminal investigation that began after Bobbitt alleged last month that the couple had squandered the more than $400,000 collected through GoFundMe. Bobbitt has since sued the couple, who were ordered by a judge to turn over what remains of the money. The couple's lawyer has said nothing remains of the money raised. Last week, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, with Florence police, executed a search warrant at the couple's house and confiscated cash, jewelry, a BMW, and financial records.
The couple have denied using the money for their personal use and said they did all they could to help Bobbitt.
According to a Florence municipal clerk, D'Amico was arrested in May after he was pulled over for a broken light on his vehicle. At that time, he had already been cited by Burlington City police for driving with a suspended license in October 2017. In May, McClure posted $500 bail to free her boyfriend, but D'Amico twice failed to appear in court in June and another arrest warrant was issued. Because he did not show up, the couple had to forfeit the bail money, the clerk said.
It was not immediately clear why D'Amico's license had been suspended, said Burlington City Police Capt. John J. Fine. A hearing is scheduled in Burlington City Municipal Court next Tuesday.
Efforts to reach D'Amico and McClure on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
In November, McClure created the GoFundMe account to help Bobbitt after he had spent his last $20 to buy her gas when she was stranded on the I-95 ramp in Philadelphia. At the time, Bobbitt was homeless and got by on panhandling.
After the couple posted the story online, they heard from thousands around the world who wanted to help. McClure and D'Amico set up the fund, and promised donations would buy Bobbitt a home and a truck to help turn his life around.
This summer, however, Bobbitt, who briefly served in the Marines, told reporters of his suspicions that the couple were using the GoFundMe money to pay for expensive vacations, shopping sprees, and a BMW, adding that he saw very little of the money.
Bobbitt also said that he had been kicked out of a drug treatment program in Camden because D'Amico had been driving him to the outpatient program every day until D'Amico was arrested earlier this year. The SUV the couple bought for Bobbitt was also titled in McClure's name and Bobbitt said he was not allowed to drive it. Instead, D'Amico used it until it broke down, Bobbitt said.
In an interview with an Inquirer and Daily News reporter last month, D'Amico said Bobbitt was using donations to buy drugs and that's why he was cut off from the GoFundMe donations. He blamed Bobbitt for getting kicked out of the rehab program. D'Amico said on the day of his arrest earlier this year, he taped $40 with a note for Bobbitt to take the train to Camden.