GoFundMe Investigating Couple That Raised $403,000 For Homeless Vet But Only Gave Him A Fraction Of The Money

Did a New Jersey couple go on wild gambling sprees, take exotic vacations and buy a new BMW with the money that the public gave to help get a homeless veteran off the streets? This article is about a “feel good story” that has gone really, really bad.  Homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. served as an ammunition technician in the U.S. Marine Corps.  After leaving the Marines, Bobbitt worked as a fireman and a paramedic before eventually falling on hard times.  Last October, Bobbitt came across Kate McClure after she had become stranded on the side of I-95 in a bad section of Philadelphia.  Even though he was living on the streets, he used his last 20 dollars to buy her some gasoline so that she could get home.  To thank him, McClure and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help Bobbitt get off the streets.  The original goal was to raise $10,000, but the story went mega-viral and the campaign ultimately raised a total of $403,000.

It was the “feel good story” of the holiday season, and it was covered extensively by the mainstream media.  McClure and Bobbitt even made a joint appearance on Good Morning America, and it appeared that this was one news story that truly had a happy ending.

But it didn’t.

McClure and D’Amico never gave Bobbitt the money.  Instead, they took charge of it and bought him the things that they thought he “needed”.

For example, even though the GoFundMe campaign originally touted the idea of purchasing a house for Bobbitt, they bought him a camper instead

The relationship between Bobbitt and McClure began to deteriorate when she and her boyfriend bought Bobbitt a camper — they originally promised him a house — and parked it in their driveway in New Jersey, where Bobbitt lived until June, Promislo said.

And they also bought a used truck for Bobbitt, but the couple reportedly drove it themselves, and it ultimately broke down

Bobbitt, a North Carolina native, “had no access to money or food” while living in the camper, Promislo said. “He didn’t have any ability to take care of himself there.”

Promislo said the camper was bought with the money from GoFundMe. McClure and D’Amico also bought Bobbitt a truck, which they drove. The truck ended up breaking down.

Meanwhile, McClure and D’Amico appear to have been living the high life.  In recent months they have taken numerous expensive vacations, purchased a brand new BMW, and even spent some of the money raised for Bobbitt on a gambling spree

But Bobbitt said he saw troubling signs for the money that thousands had donated to him. McClure is a receptionist for the New Jersey Department of Transportation and D’Amico is a carpenter, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. But suddenly she had a new BMW, and the couple was taking vacations to Florida and California and Las Vegas, Bobbitt told the Inquirer. He learned of a helicopter ride they took over the Grand Canyon.

And he told the Inquirer that D’Amico has gambled away some of the GoFundMe money. (D’Amico told the newspaper he had used $500 from the account to gamble on a night when he forgot his SugarHouse Casino card, but had “quickly repaid” the money with his winnings.)

The trailer that McClure and D’Amico bought for Bobbitt is now gone, and his lawyer says that Bobbitt is currently addicted to drugs and is once again living on the streets of Philadelphia

But now Bobbitt says he’s homeless, hungry and addicted to drugs again. His lawyers say the couple has given him a fraction of the money, CNN reports. And Bobbitt fears he won’t benefit from the rest, according to an interview published by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bobbitt’s lawyer estimated there should be $300,000 left from the campaign, according to CNN. Chris Fallon said he and another lawyer are working to secure a guardian other than McClure and D’Amico for the balance of the money.

Of course there are always two sides to every story, and McClure and D’Amico insist that they have done nothing wrong.

In fact, they claim that they are holding back money from McClure for his own good

McClure and D’Amico tell a different story, saying they are withholding a portion of the money for Bobbitt’s own good. They say his problems with drugs have contributed to him wasting some of the money from the campaign that he was given.

“Giving him all that money, it’s never going to happen. I’ll burn it in front of him,” D’Amico told the paper. He indicated the money could be as dangerous to Bobbitt as “a loaded gun.”

And if what they are claiming is true, they may have a point.

According to D’Amico, Bobbitt spent a massive amount of money on drugs last holiday season…

In the NBC interview, D’Amico said Bobbitt spent $25,000 on drugs in 13 days during the holiday season. “Every dollar he ever touched was used for drugs.”

If Bobbitt is going to spend all of his money on drugs, then he definitely needs someone to watch over it for him.

But who is telling the truth?

In the end, Bobbitt is in the exact same place in life as he was before all of this money started rolling in.

He is sleeping under a Philadelphia bridge and spending his days begging for money

At night, he sleeps under a bridge at the intersection of Callowhill and Second Streets, near an I-95 on-ramp. He spends his days doing exactly what he was doing when McClure’s car stopped in front of him: panhandling.

No matter how much money you throw at a problem, nothing is going to be permanently solved unless someone actually wants to change.

That is true for individuals, and it is also true for the nation as a whole.

This article originally appeared on The Economic Collapse Blog.  About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Are These The Last Days Of The U.S. Marine Corps?

MarinesAre the current personnel cuts the beginning of the end for the U.S. Marines?  Could these actually be the last days of the U.S. Marine Corps?  A decade ago, such a notion would have been absolutely unthinkable, but times have changed.  The Marine Corps was already in the process of drawing down from a peak of 202,100 Marines to 182,100, and now Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is warning that the sequester cuts may force the Army to be cut down to a size of 380,000 and the Marine Corps to be cut down to a size of 150,000.  Unfortunately for the Marines, even larger cuts may eventually be coming.  Many in the Obama administration and in the Pentagon are now openly questioning whether there will be an important role for the Marines to play in the future.  After all, the U.S. military has not conducted a major amphibious landing since the Korean War.  As our politicians look for even more ways to cut military expenses in the years ahead, the Marines may end up being very tempting “low hanging fruit” that the bureaucrats can’t resist.  And unless another major conflict erupts, it seems clear that more cuts are probably coming.  In fact, even the New York Times admits that “deep reductions” to the U.S. military have long been an important goal for Barack Obama.

So does Barack Obama plan to go after the Marines?  Well, for now Barack Obama is publicly praising the Marines.  In fact, Obama made the following promise to the Marines during a recent speech at Camp Pendleton

“After all you’ve given to our nation, you have to know your nation will always be faithful to you.”

Will Obama keep that promise?

Well, considering his track record perhaps you should not hold your breath.

In any event, the Marine Corps brass is certainly bracing for very deep budget cuts right now.  Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos says that the Marine Corps is going to do “the very best we possibly can” with what they are given…

Amos said he assumes the Corps’ planned shift to more operations in the Pacific will continue, but the size of the force and the number of missions it will be able to undertake will be reduced if the budget cuts stay in place.“We’re going to do less with less,” Amos told the House committee. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to do it poorly or we’re going to do it inadequately. We’ll do it the very best we possibly can.”

Unfortunately for the Marines, they are being given less and less these days.

You see, the cuts to the Marines did not start with the sequester.  The truth is that plans to reduce the size of the Marines started very early in the Obama administration.  For example, the following are recommendations for cuts that came from the 2010 Force Structure Review Group report

• A 13 percent drop in ground combat forces, including an 11 percent reduction in infantry, 20 percent reduction in cannon artillery and a 20 percent reduction in armor

•A 16 percent drop in fixed-wing tactical aviation squadrons

• A 9 percent drop in logistics

• A 7 percent drop in Marines assigned to non-operational billets

• And a 12 percent drop in the civilian work force.

And back in 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that the Marines had “gotten too big” and he also publicly questioned the future of the Marines

“All of the military services have been challenged to find the right balance between preserving what is unique and valuable in their traditions, while at the same time making the changes necessary to win the wars we are in and prepare for the likely future threats in the years and decades to come,” he said. “Looking ahead, I do think it is proper to ask whether large-scale amphibious landings along the lines of Inchon [the Marine’s invasion of the Korea peninsula in 1950] are feasible.”

Of course part of the problem for the Marines is that they are still considered to be a part of the U.S. Navy.  The following is from a recent Fiscal Times article

The Marines, while considered a separate branch of the military, are actually part of the Navy. They’re often referred to as the “infantry of the Navy.”

“The Marines don’t have a separate fiscal existence. They are a wholly owned subsidiary of the Navy,” Adams said.

When it comes time to cut the Navy budget, it is often the Marines that feel the most pain…

But the Navy has authority over the Marine’s personnel budget–expected to be $12.9 billion in 2014. This means that Navy brass can decide how it pays to train, house, feed and maintain readiness of the troops.

Because of this, according to Adams, the Marines often find themselves the victims of Navy spending fights.

And right now the U.S. military is experiencing a spending squeeze that they have not felt in many, many years.  In addition to personnel cuts, a whole host of other Marine programs could be cut back significantly because of the sequester

Fewer F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, MV-22 Ospreys, AH-1 Cobras, and UH-1 Hueys. No Marine Personnel Carrier. Maybe no Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to replace the Humvee. 8,000 fewer Marines on active duty. The Marine Commandant has put all that on the table as part of his proposal to the Defense Secretary’s Strategic Choices and Management Review. If sequester goes into effect in its full 10-year, $500 billion glory – and all signs so far are it will – then Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos stands ready to sacrifice almost everything except the Amphibious Combat Vehicle and combat readiness.

As the size of the U.S. Marine Corps gets whittled away, we need to be very careful that we do not lose a very important part of our culture.  The Marines have a very special place in U.S. history, and we should never forget the blood that so many of them shed to defend our liberties and our freedoms.

Unfortunately, our liberties and our freedoms are being eroded at an astounding pace today, and even the Marines themselves are quickly becoming an endangered species.

After surviving the Japanese and the North Koreans, it is a shame that many old vets may have to watch the Marine Corps that they love fall victim to Barack Obama and the bureaucrats.

The few and the proud are rapidly becoming fewer, and it just doesn’t seem right.

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