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Indictment 'likely' for couple accused of stealing GoFundMe funds from homeless veteran

New Jersey man Mark D'Amico, 39, was also picked up Monday on a traffic warrant — the latest twist in a case that began as a feel-good tale.
by Erik Ortiz /  / Updated 
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Troubles are mounting for the New Jersey couple accused of stealing from an online fundraiser meant to benefit a homeless veteran after their lawyer said in a court motion they will "likely" be indicted and one of them was arrested Monday night on a traffic warrant.

Mark D'Amico was picked up on the outstanding warrant and transported to the Burlington County Jail, where he remained Tuesday on $500 bail, Burlington City police told NBC Philadelphia.

Ernest Badway, an attorney for D'Amico and girlfriend Katelyn McClure, said Tuesday he had no comment about the couple's case.

The traffic warrant is related to D'Amico's failure to appear in court in July after he was first stopped in October 2017 for a broken taillight, driving with a suspended license and failure to turn over his license, according to NBC Philadelphia.

The latest developments come in light of court documents Monday in which Badway wrote that McClure and D'Amico are "unable to defend themselves" against accusations because they no longer have access to certain financial records.

"(Since) it is expected that one or both of the defendants will likely be indicted, my firm and I will no longer be able to continue our representation of them in this matter," Badway said in a motion.

It was unclear, however, if his firm would represent the couple in any criminal proceedings.

McClure, 28, and D'Amico, 39, were set to give depositions Monday in regard to the civil case, but those were subsequently canceled, The Burlington County Times reported.

In the meantime, the judge in the case agreed to Badway's request to put civil matters on hold until December while a criminal investigation unfolds. The couple has not been charged.

A search warrant was executed Thursday at the Florence Township home of McClure and D'Amico. Prosecutors did not say what they were looking for, but a BMW was reportedly seized.

The initially feel-good tale began last fall when Johnny Bobbitt Jr., a homeless Marine veteran, gave McClure his last $20 after she ran out of gas on a freeway ramp in Philadelphia. Moved by the gesture, McClure and D'Amico started a GoFundMe campaign for Bobbitt, drawing donations from more than 14,000 people and earning him $402,000.

But Bobbitt believed the couple was dipping into some of the money for themselves, and in late August attorneys for him filed a lawsuit to try to force McClure and D'Amico to turn over the remaining cash.

Bobbitt's attorneys allege he has only received $75,000 of the money raised and claim the couple spent donations on items such a BMW and on luxury vacations.

The couple has denied the allegations and said they withheld some of the money because they feared Bobbitt, who has battled a drug addiction, would spend it on drugs.

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