For all the sanctity of constitutional rights, none is more unpopular in its invocation than the Fifth Amendment.
You take the Fifth, you’re guilty. That’s how the public views these sorts of things.
So when a Pennsylvania couple, accused of skimming the GoFundMe money donated to help out a homeless man, made it clear Wednesday through their lawyer that they’ll take the Fifth next week, let’s just say it didn’t help the image of Kate McClure, 28, and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, 39.
You may recall from a NewsCut post last month that it all started when McClure’s car ran out of gas, Johnny Bobbitt — a homeless veteran and addict — gave her $20, and the $400,000 that was donated disappeared amid changing stories.
The couple’s attorney, Ernest E. Badway, is a piece of work in this affair too. In court on Wednesday, he asked that a judge’s order that the couple give depositions to Bobbitt’s attorney be delayed until Bobbitt is out of treatment.
“We already had money disappear,” said Judge Paula Dow, who does not suffer fools gladly. “I think that’s a ludicrous request.”
She ordered the couple to give their depositions under oath on Monday, and appear in court next Friday.
Badway, a pro bono lawyer for the couple, said his clients will invoke their right not to incriminate themselves, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“You should advise your clients that they are directed by the court to appear, and they can assert their privileges at that time. I am no longer comfortable with counsel representing what their clients purport to say, when I have no certifications from the clients, no appearances by the clients, and a record that before me lacks clarity at times as to what happened with the funds,” Judge Dow said.
The couple had already ignored the judge’s order to move any remaining money into an escrow account, a clear sign that there isn’t much of it left, although last week, the pair told “Megyn Kelly Today” there’s $150,000 left.
In Wednesday’s court hearing, Bobbitt’s attorney presented a text message, apparently from D’Amico, offering to give Bobbitt money to make the dispute go away.
Bobbitt alleges the couple spent most of the $400,000 that people donated on lavish trips, shopping sprees, gambling, and a used BMW.
Outside of Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico’s house is the used BMW John Bobbitt says the couple purchased earlier this year. He suspects the GoFundMe $ raised for him was used to buy it. pic.twitter.com/96KWxC3JP8
— Chad Pradelli (@chadpradelli) September 4, 2018
GoFundMe, which reportedly kept around $30,000 in fees in the viral fundraiser,told the Inquirer that the company had depositing $20,000 into Mr Bobbitt’s escrow account as the legal case proceeds.