US couple accused of conspiring with homeless man to make up heart-warming tale that sparked mass donations from around the globe

Sophie Williams

A US homeless man and a couple have been accused of conspiring to make up a heart-warming tale about giving the woman his last $20 in order to fundraise money for themselves.

Kate McClure claimed that homeless man Johnny Bobbitt had given her his last $20 after her car ran out of petrol and she was stuck on a Philadelphia motorway.

After the incident, Ms McClure, along with her boyfriend Mark D’Amico raised over £300,000 for Mr Bobbitt on GoFundMe, with people from all over the world donating cash to help Mr Bobbitt find somewhere to live and start afresh.

However NBC10 are reporting that the couple and Mr Bobbitt will all face charges including conspiracy and theft by deception.

Johnny Bobbitt poses for a picture in November last year with Mark D'Amico and Kate McClure. Police raided their home on Thursday (Elizabeth Robertson/AP)

It’s alleged that the three conspired together to make up the false story to raise funds for themselves.

The couple allegedly turned themselves in on Wednesday to authorities. However it is unclear if Mr Bobbitt was with them.

In August, Mr Bobbitt, 35, claimed that he had no access to the cash raised in his name.

Mr Bobbitt, once again homeless and addicted to drugs, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he feared the couple squandered much of the money and claimed he can’t access the remaining funds. He then sued the couple.

Johnny Bobbitt pictured earlier this year (David Swanson/AP)

His lawyers accused them of “enjoying a lifestyle they could not afford” — including buying a BMW — by using the fund as “their personal piggy bank”.

Ms McClure, a receptionist, and Mr D’Amico, a car mechanic, said they withheld the money to stop Mr Bobbitt spending it on drugs. They claimed he had “blown” $25,000 in a fortnight.

In September, the Burlington County Prosecutor's office confirmed that a search warrant had been executed on the couple's house.

A statement said: "Due to the enormous public interest in this matter, I am confirming that a search warrant was executed early this morning by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Florence Township Police Department at the residence of Mark D'Amico and Katelyn McClure in connection with a criminal investigation into the Johnny Bobbitt matter.

D'Amico and McClure's lawyer told NBC News he had no comment today.

Chris Fallon, a lawyer for Bobbitt, could not be reached for comment.

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